Researchers and civil society representatives at a view exchange meeting on Wednesday, underlined the need to ensure sustainable waste management in the country taking public interest into consideration.
Decomposing waste has made urban life very dangerous. Marginalized people suffer the most due to poor management of solid waste, they observed.
The speakers further said the waste management should be programme based and not project based. Sustainable waste management should be ensured by participation of all stakeholders and none should be left out.
In collaboration with USAID and Counterpart International, the sharing meeting on “Sustainable Solid Waste Management: Stakeholder Engagement, Lessons and Way Forward” was jointly organised by Dusthya Shasthya Kendra (DSK), BARCIK, Coalition for Urban Poor (CUP) and InSights at LD Hall of Jatiya Sangsad. DSK executive director Dr Dibalok Singha presided over the function while Sanjida Jahan Ashrafi made the keynote presentation.
Taking part (virtually) in the meeting as the chief guest, Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Md Tajul Islam said industrialization is increasing along with development of the country. Thus, waste is also generated even at the union level.
He said the government has taken initiatives for proper waste management. Besides, initiatives have been taken to implement waste management policies in the city. Union level waste collection will be started from now.
The LGRD Minister said that fertilizer and electricity can be produced from waste.
“We will work on that now. Many organizations are working with us. They will invest and we will supply them with waste. It will increase the production of fertilizer and electricity,” he added.
Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on The MInistry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Saber Hossain Chowdhury said when no one thought about waste management in post-independence Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman thought about it.
He regretted that there is no shortage of laws in the country but we cannot enforce the law properly. Likewise, he said, effective initiatives should be taken to implement waste management policies.
Chowdhury expressed his hope that it will be possible to ensure proper waste management with the joint efforts of all.
Professor. Ijaz Hossain said that the solid waste management rules-2021 have been passed recently to achieve the goal of solid waste management in the country.
Although several groundbreaking steps have been taken in the regulations, overall there is no clear idea of what strategy or action plan the government has set for solid waste management.
According to estimates made in the 2014 waste database, the total waste generated in 2025 will be 47 thousand tons. If this trend continues, solid waste generation will exceed 57 thousand tons in 2030 and 77 thousand tons in 2040.
It was also said in the meeting that 50 percent of the city’s waste is not being collected. As a result, these wastes are causing pollution in the city. Low-income people suffer especially due to the waste dumped in the slums, he added.
Besides, a large amount of methane is released from the landfills around Dhaka. It is 100 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. So we have to think about the landfill concept in waste management.
The sharing meeting was also addressed, among others, by USAID representative Kristin McCrae, Chief Executive Officer of Dhaka North City Corporation, Md Selim Reza, Chief of Party of CPI Mainuddin Ahmed, Poba Chairman Abu Naser Khan, ward councillor Shikha Chakrawarty, Aminur Rosul and executive director of CUP Khondaker Rebeka San Yat.