Climate and health
Dr Md Rajja
Heavy metals such as lead, chromium, arsenic mercury, copper, cadmium etc. cause development problems, birth defects of the central nervous system as well as are considered carcinogenic. In South Asia, about thousand polluting industrial plants discharge toxic effluents directly to rivers. The huge marine deltas of this sub-continent occupy only three per cent of the world oceans but nine per cent of global runoff, where polluted rivers disperse untreated industrial, agricultural municipal and urban wastes. The climate is tropical as in South Asia; for most of the year it is warm with bright sunshine, but during the monsoon season there is heavy rainfall. In South Asia solid waste generation is quite low; however, due to huge and densely populated city, solid waste problem in Kathmandu city is very acute in comparison to many cities of the developing countries. Daily production of solid waste in Kathmandu City is more than Tons. Hospital and clinical waste is a mixture of toxic chemicals, radioactive elements and pathological substances. 15 to 20 percent of medical wastes are highly dangerous for human lives. These waste when dumped with other municipal wastes in the open land poses threat to serious health hazard to the city people. The nature of solid waste is changing over time and with development. Of the solid wastes plastic and polyethylene goods also cause problems towards human health, environment and drainage system. These goods are cheaply and easily available in the markets. The users do not care to reuse them. They rather throw these things out of the door and window. An Inception Report on Control & Management of Polyethylene bags in Nepal shows that people of Kathmandu City alone used million bags a day.
During floods, floodwater did not drain quickly, as one of the major reasons was due to polyethylene in the draining system. Polyethylene and plastic materials are not biodegradable. Natural process cannot decompose it. Polyethylene remains intact in the soil, disturbs the flow of nutrients to the soil and hinders entering sunlight. It destroys the beneficial bacteria of soil compaction. In the long run it affected the foundation of physical infrastructures, if there is any on the plastic dumpsite. In urban areas, the most adverse impact of solid waste is incidence and prevalence of various diseases. In South Asia, malaria, respiratory problems, eye and skin diseases are the worst impacts. Moreover, contamination of ground water and air also leads to such adverse health impacts. On the other hand, solid waste blocks the drainage system and creates flooding in the streets leading towards mosquitoes, bad odor, and inconvenience. South Asia with its geographical and climatic conditions is prone to flooding; hence, solid waste in the streets and drains multiplies the health impacts and miseries. In town areas, the most unfavorable impact of solid waste is incidence and prevalence of various diseases. In South Asia, fever, respiratory problems, malaria, eye and skin diseases are the worst impacts. Moreover, contamination of ground water and air also leads to such adverse health impacts. On the other hand, solid waste blocks the drainage system and creates flooding in the streets leading towards mosquitoes, bad odor, and inconvenience. South Asia with its geographical and climatic conditions is prone to flooding; hence, solid waste in the streets and drains multiplies the health impacts and miseries. Most of the child mortality could be related with this problem, as impure ground water and malaria are the chief causes for this death.
Government must ensure well-organized and appropriate delivery of solid waste collection and disposal services to the entire city population by encouraging community based organizations as well as local NGOs to arrange and perform community waste management agenda. Most of the child mortality could be related with this problem, as contaminated ground water and malaria are the major causes for this mortality. DCC is not efficiently removing the waste from the dustbins due to financial and institutional constraints. Therefore, the overall scenario for the solid waste management does not change with the community-based initiatives, which are only focused on not in my backyard (NIMBY) approach.
I think the successful practice needs a logical understanding of all the actors, issues, efforts, and outcomes. Then an in-depth analysis can lead to highlight the successful efforts and possibility for replication. South Asia is far from achieving environmental sustainability, which requires administration and caring ecosystems. The aim must be to educate mass population on poisonous personal property of industrial and agricultural pollutants as well as to take essential act for industrialized waste administration. The human beings are facing the great problem of pollution because of the large scale of industries and the negligence of people. The pollution is the cause of sickness and death. It is the world disease today. Pollution of the environment is very dangerous. The polluted environment means the pollution in water, food, and air, which are the most important elements of the living things. The disease can spread everywhere by the cause of dirt. Men are born crippled, blind, dull etc. Man is the main cause of pollution nowadays. He cuts the tress and it will not rain. If there is no water there will be no crops. The man gets trouble. He cannot get fresh air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat. Moreover, due to pollution, the ozone layers tears and harmful rays of the sun come into the earth. Now a days, the capital of Nepal, is the most polluted city. Everywhere there are the heaps of dirt. The people should cover their mouths and noses with masks. The other city is also being polluted in Nepal. If such condition continues again and again, all the human beings will die of different kinds of fatal diseases.To avoid the pollution from the cities, all the citizens should be conscious. The government should make strict rules and punish them if they break the rules to clean the cities. Everywhere, there should be dust-bins. The government should give good education to save the environment, to plant the trees and to preserve the sources of water. If it is so, we can get fresh and sweat air, pure water and become healthy. Noise pollution is one of the emerging threats to health in modern era. The ill effect of acute and chronic effects of noise is though well known to doctors and scientist; people of South Asia are largely ignorant about it. We not only damage our health but also many pregnant women, aged person and children get permanent ill effects to the health. Increasing ambient noise level in public places from various sources, industrial activity, construction activity, generator sets, loud speakers, public address systems, music systems, vehicular horns and other mechanical devices have deleterious effects on human health and the psychological welbeing of the people, it is considered necessary to regulate and control noise producing and generating sources with the objective of maintaining the ambient air quality standards in respect of noise. In order to reduce noise pollution in South Asia, we must work together, as media, NGOs, and concerned individuals, to change our own behavior and to encourage the government to enforce existing laws on pollution.
Dr. Mohammad Rajja