City dwellers walking around the street or commuting to work are frequently forced to hold their noses, as they are confronted by the malodour of stinking rubbish which results from poor waste management.
They often come across garbage-laden open pick-ups or trucks leaking filthy water, emitting nauseating smell and spreading germs, which is detrimental to human health.On average, wholesale markets in the city’s Karwan Bazar neighbourhood alone produce 100 tonnes of waste every day which is dumped at the landfill in Amin Bazar in Savar, according to Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Zone-5 office.
The smelly waste water keeps seeping through the vehicles when they ply from Karwan Bazar to the dumping ground.
In addition to that, the authorities concerned in the area operate a very poor waste disposal system, forcing residents of the area to live in insanitary, unhygienic and degrading conditions, which expose them to health hazards.
Oblivious to the health threats, street cleaners collect refuse from shops of the markets and load them onto the trucks without using any protective face masks and gloves.
As a result of the hazardous labour, they may suffer from chronic respiratory problems and other diseases in the long run.
On Tuesday, several trucks were spotted at different points in Karwan Bazar which were being loaded with stinky litter. It takes more than one hour to load a truck with the rubbish.Salauddin, a truck driver working at an insurance company, told the daily sun that the waste is supposed to collect before 8:00 am, but the work even goes on at noon.
The trucks carrying trash often block the road, contributing to traffic gridlock too.
Sayeed Sujon, a doctor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), told the daily sun that people whose jobs involve cleaning garbage-strewn streets might develop various diseases, including skin problems and asthma.
Experts suggest that waste should be carried by covered vehicles like Japanese waste collection vehicles.
When contacted, Rakib Hasan, inspector of DNCC Zone-5, who monitors the waste management in the area, said the trucks of a company collect the waste from the markets at Karwan Bazar and dump them in the landfill in Amin Bazar.
When his attention was drawn to the environmentally-friendly Japanese refuse collection vehicles, he said they are very costly. Tk 3 crore is required to buy one, he said.
The officer said 40 waste collectors of the DNCC and many others of the markets are involved in collecting wastes.
Despite several attempts, DNCC’s Chief Waste Management Officer Commodore MA Razzak could not be contacted for comments over phone.