Impacts of Solid Waste Management Practices on Environment and Public Health: A Case of Bahawalpur City, Pakistan

Muhammad Mohsin, Annatoria Chinyama

Abstract


Safe and secure disposal of solid waste is now becoming a major issue for most of developing countries with accelerating urbanization and increasing pressure of populations. A study was conducted in Bahawalpur City; Pakistan. The main objective of the study was to investigate the sources and impacts of solid waste management practices on the surrounding environment and public health. This was achieved by specifically identifying the sources and types of solid waste in the city by identifying the different solid waste management practices and their impacts on the environment and human health. Data about solid waste generation, collection, disposal and their impacts on human health and environment was collected in Model Town C using a structured questionnaire from 80 randomly sampled respondents as well as by field observations. Secondary data from institutional records was also collected. Statistical analysis in the form of descriptive statistics and chi-square test were applied to the data. It was found that the environment in study area was highly polluted with open dumping of solid waste in open spaces and vacant plots. Households contributed the most solid waste generation and open dumping. The solid waste generated at household level consisted of organic waste, plastics and polythene bags. Institutionally, Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) and later Bahawalpur Waste Management Company (BWMC) were found to be responsible for solid waste management in the city but the overall situation is not satisfactory. The impacts of poor solid waste management practices were found to be: land degradation, creation of breeding grounds for disease carrying vectors such as mosquitoes, rats, rodents, decrease in land values; and different severe diseases. Furthermore, it was found by statistical analysis, that there was a significant relationship between the poor solid waste management practices and environmental and health problems faced by the community.

Keywords


Dumping sites; Environment; Public health; Solid waste management practices Urbanization; Solid Waste Management; Urban waste

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