Published on International Journal of Health, Nursing, & Medicine
ISSN: 2193-3715, Volume 1, Issue 2, page 30 – 39
Publication Date: 12 February 2019
Sisay Yami Gudeta
Certified Senior Environment Consultant
Hiwot Environment Consultancy Firm
East Hararghe Zone, Oromia Region, Ethiopia
Introduction: Municipal solid waste collection is an important aspect in maintaining public health in cities around the world. If it is not properly managed, poses a serious health hazard and could lead to the spreading of diseases. The poor management of solid waste has led to contamination of ground water and surface water through leachate and air pollution through unregulated burning of waste. Even though studies where undertaken in developing countries as well as Ethiopia, there is no research done on status of solid waste management and predictors to access to municipal solid waste collection in Harar. This study aimed to assess solid waste management status and predictors of access to municipal solid waste collection in historical walled city of Harar. Methods: The study was carried out from December 13-25/2016 in historical walled city of Harar, Cross sectional study design was used in the study. Simple random sampling was applied to select 422 sample size. Results: Family size, household economic condition, house ownership, latrine and land use showed statistical significance association with access to municipal solid waste collection. Conclusion: Solid waste collection was constrained by capacity and inefficient. Socioeconomic factors, house ownership, latrine, and land uses were found to be predictors of access to municipal solid waste collection. Involvement of private sector and provision of efficient and equitable solid waste collection were essential.
Keywords: Solid waste management, collection, disposal, access, predictors, historical walled city of Harar, East Ethiopia.
Solid Waste Management is a science associated with the management of generation, storage, collection, transportation, segregation, processing and disposal of solid waste using the best principle and practices of engineering, conservation, aesthetics and other environmental conditions(1).
The percent of municipal solid waste collected varies by national income and by region. Higher income countries tend to have higher collection efficiency although less of the solid waste management budget goes towards collection (2). Solid waste collection coverage range from 41% in Sub Sahara countries ,46% in Africa and 98% in high-income countries (2).
The poor management of solid waste has led to contamination of groundwater and surface water through leachate and air pollution through unregulated burning of waste (3).The combined effect of the inefficiencies in collection, and inadequate and unsafe disposal is evident in widespread litter dispersion, contaminated water and high incidence of chronic respiratory and communicable diseases (3). The findings from research done by Cheever M (4) depicted that burning garbage and collection from a dumping point were significantly associated with an increased chance of getting sick across all regions in Ethiopia.
According to UNEPA (5), solid waste that is not properly managed, from households and the community, poses a serious health hazard and could lead to the spreading of diseases. The study done in India pointed out that absence of recycling unit, inefficiency of labor, no segregation of waste at source, effect of inefficient recycling, unclean waste dumping, absence of organized primary collection and lack of financial resources are the problems of solid waste management (1).
The composition of wastes generated by the East African urban centers was mainly decomposable organic materials and floor sweepings. The storage, collection, transportation and final disposal of wastes are reported to have become a major problem in urban centers. (6).The study done in Gondar town by Gedefaw M (7) depicted that the composition of solid waste in the town were residential waste(69%) followed by street sweeping(8.3%) and institutions(7.5%). On the other hand, study done by Sharma H etal (8) showed that ash and food products were the main composition of municipal solid waste in Dessie town.
In most developing countries municipal solid waste not separated or sorted before it was collected for disposal, but recyclables are removed by waste pickers prior during the collection process, and at disposal sites (2).The finding from Gondar study indicated that few community members practiced some form of reuse and recycling through exchange of items with new ones (7).The cases of Addis Ababa was also similar to the other town where reusing and recycling had been practiced for decades (9).
The introduction of private operators has increased solid waste collection levels compared when it was dependent entirely on the urban councils (6) .However; most of these reported collection efforts only apply to wastes that have reached community collection points. This means a higher percentage of urban solid waste do not reach the legal disposal points but end up in the environment (6).
Out of the total generated solid waste in Addis Ababa, only 65%(200,000 metric tons) collected each year while the rest being deposited in open sites, drainage channels, and rivers (4). According to the previous survey (10) , 60.6%,34.7% and 4.7% of the household in historical walled city of Harar dispose solid waste in municipal container, open field and ditches along the road respectively.
In high income countries, although collection costs can represent less than 10% of a municipality’s budget, collection rates are usually 80 to 90% on average and collection methods tend to be mechanized, efficient, and frequent. While total collection budgets are higher, they are proportionally lower as other budget items increase (2).
The study done in Amhara Region indicated that economic factors such as inadequate budget and low income level of the households are the major problem associated with collection of municipal solid waste. Household income found to be insufficient to cover the expense associated with solid waste management so that instead of paying a service charge for waste collectors, the households prefer to dump wastes in open area (11). According to study done in Dessie town, most of the respondents were not satisfied with the present municipal solid waste collection and 79% them were willing to pay service charges if there is house‐to‐house (primary) collection initiation by the local authority(8).
The research conducted in Gondar town indicated that residents around municipal solid waste collection containers were highly exposed to contaminants and attacked by different solid waste caused diseases due to insufficient collection, misuses, absence of regular and untimely collection (7). It was also indicated that the collection of solid waste was challenged by scarcity of equipment, shortage of collection truck, transfer station and absence of capacity building and personal protective materials for the workers (7).
According to Harari Regional State Climate adaptation changes program report (12),the urban landscape in the historical walled city of Harar was littered with rubbish due to poor management of solid waste and lack of awareness among inhabitant. It is common to see rubbish and waste in the unpaved narrow street of historical walled city(Jugal), like wise, open ditches were also clogged with illegal disposal of solid waste. The tombs which are localized in the public space, suffer particularly from disposal of wastes. Moreover; plastic bags were also observed in all street of (Jugal) which can evidence deposal of solid waste anywhere in the historical walled city of Harar (12).