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17 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Necessary steps needed for waste management

It is high time to change the mindset of the people and the policy makers to explore their expertise on this issue
Mrinal K Sarkar
Necessary steps needed for waste management

According to the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) (WHO/UNICEF, 2014), 85per cent people have access to safe water and 57 per cent people use hygienic sanitation facilities.More importantly Bangladesh has successfully reduced the percentage of the poorest without access to water and sanitation facilities. However there are still significant challenges if Bangladesh is going to ensure safe, affordable, reliable and sustainable services for all (National Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation, 31 August 2014). In sanitation, till now 3per cent of the population defecates in the open, more than half of the latrines used in Bangladesh are unsanitary in design, operation or maintenance (JMP 2014). In hygiene, while general awareness is high, only 30per cent people wash hands with soap or ash and water after defecating (UNICEF/ICDDR,B, 2014).  

On the above said figure prove that we have reduced open defecation but it is created a concern to proper fecal sludge management.Besides, in rural areas people are habituated to practice on low cost pit or latrine with septic tank which is fill-up within short periodand resulting required to empty at on stage. But it is very interesting that people in general are not aware about the technique of how this waste is disposed and how much it impacts the surrounding environment. There is no proper emptying mechanism of pit or septic tank.In the rural area it is done manually by local sweeper when the problem becomes visible by overflowing. As a result, a lot of human waste generated in every day. But there is no facility to manage and recycling the waste as extra monetary value purpose. So it is very much alarming and created a second generation sanitation problem in Bangladesh.

In rural areas our sweepers are plying a vital role to empty the pit but most of the aspect that is very much unhygienic due to proper knowledge and capacity causes it most health risks. Most of the sweepers don’t have any knowledge on proper management of sludge during empting period. They always used a simple bucket, rope and kerosene oil and becoming sick due to carbon monoxide gas. Besides, most of the time they discharged the sludge in the open places or nearby water body which is very much unhygienic. So it is very much health risks for human and environment as well as pollute the shallow aquifers. Aftermath removes this alarming situation, capacity enhancement of the sweeper along with decent equipment is very much essential for them.

So it is high time to put emphasis to ensure fecal sludge management for rural areas of Bangladesh. Proper fecal sludge management we can turn it as monetary value purpose and also it can turn a social businessatmosphere through engaging some actors. Recycling of the human waste by converting it into proper organic manure it would be one practical solution in our country context. So if we could convert the entire amount of human waste of rural areas and produce into organic manure, it has provability to produce a lot of organic manure and reduce to pressure of the country the amount we import every year. If we could utilize a certain percentage of this potential, it would be a huge gain for the country. At first stage, it will empty from the pit then carry for a specific place. Then it will be treated there and produce manure. Produced manure will be marketing and finally it will be used by the end users as a manure in their productive land. Here all the steps are involved some actors who will be engaged with the process and earn monetary values.

What we have to do?

At first it is very much essential to enhance capacity of sweepers who are involving in pit emptier activities. Here mentioned that not only a capacity development training but also well equipments for their safeties’,Secondly introduce appropriate technology for sludge management like empty, carry, process purpose and so on. In our country few organizations used technology like Vacutag and so on. But in the rural areas there is must need a sound and appropriate technology.Thirdlywe have to ensure congenial environment for productive manure in the marketing. Here public private partnership may be created for proper marketing of manure. Fourthlyit is very much importance of mass awareness among the community. Various awareness session, pot song, street drama, leaflet, poster, electronic and printing media can play a vital role.  Finally it is another most important things that Government and Non-government organization can play a vital role on rural fecal sludge management.

Recently different actors like Governmental and Non-governmental organization that have shown interest in human waste management and are experimenting on several small scale initiatives aiming to produce manure through proper processing which also as piloting basis is going ahead by public private partnership like Practical Action Bangladesh as well as likeminded few organizations in Bangladesh. But unfortunately in wide range there is no proper human waste management value chain in Bangladesh. Another most important actors like department of agriculture, agricultural universities, research agencies and private sectors should introduce standardization of organic manure and explore marketing strategies for the products. So it is high time to change the mindset of the people and the policy makers to explore their expertise on this issue.

However, this should not only be considered from a monetary perspective; use of this manure will improve soil texture and most importantly, prevent surface water pollution.

The writer is a development worker

 

 

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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