Proper waste management needed to keep city clean

A S M Nurunnabi

The problem of keeping the Dhaka City clean poses a great challenge. The capital seems to have become a city of all-pervasive stench from open drains that remain clogged and piles of garbage that rot on the roads. Wastes from shops, workshops and establishments along with household garbage of a dumped at authorised and unauthorised open spots including park areas and passage corners.


According to an estimate, roughly 70 per cent of the solid waste produced in Dhaka city are haphazardly collected over a week for statement at appointed sites and the remaining 30 per cent are swept by rain, wind and humans into nooks, pits and holes, to rot or be fed on by worms, insects and rodents or scavenger birds.

A couple of years ago, the World Bank funded a project for garbage dumping into large steel dumpsters left on the roads, to be cleared by trucks from time to time. Unfortunately, these big dumpsters have become targets for scavengers spreading garbage around on roads and footpaths incourse of their search for food. Besides taking up space on the roads, they have become permanent source of putrid smell that spoils the air around. Take for example the Green Road which is one of the important roads in the city. A drive along this road may show how nauseating it an be with the contents of the uncleared dumpsters strewn all around.

About three years ago, with the support of the World Bank, the Kolkata City Corporation made impressive strides in cleaning up Kolkata, much to the pleasant surprise of all who visited the capital city of the West Bengal after the laudable clean-up which was reportedly carried out in just three months. In the light of this example, it is felt if such impressive improvements could be possible in Kolkata which is a much bigger city than our own capital, why should it be impossible to achieve such success here in Dhaka? Such a question may be reasonably asked by Many of our conscious citizens.

In an ideal situation, man's education, vision and world view are expected to take care of waste and uncleanness before they become a deadening weight upon himself.

The situation in the city is far from ideal. While most other countries are managing waste much to their benefit, we have over the years, hardly succeeded indoing anything other than messing around with the daily accumulating piles of solid waste. Lack of sustained and systematic thinking on the issue has brought us face to face not only with a problem of space constraint but also with a serious health hazard.

In the opinion of many observers, the want of vision on the part of the Dhaka City Corporation in the matter of solid waste management was gallingly exposed about three years ago when it failed to take advantage of a proposed project involving a Japanese firm in a self-feasibility test for waste re-cycling.

It is, therefore, felt that the threat the absence of waste management plan is posing, needs to be dealt expeditiously.

Source: The Daily Star, 15 September,2001