The Financial Express

49pc unaware of infectious waste management in Dhaka

| Updated: July 06, 2020 17:15:21

File photo used for representational purpose File photo used for representational purpose

Some 49.1 per cent of the participants in a survey said they store coronavirus waste in a common container, showing poor awareness of the disease in Dhaka city.

Meanwhile, 49.1-per cent respondents said they store such waste in separate baskets.

A recent study styled 'Five-point demand of civil society in formulating and implementing policies for proper management of Covid-19 and other infectious waste' made the disclosures.

On average, 206.218 tonnes of coronavirus-related waste are produced per day in Dhaka metropolis alone, according to the survey.

This huge amount of indigestible and contagious waste is generated from households and other sources like public-private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres, and office-courts.

The waste poses a serious threat to public health.

Network on Climate Change in Bangladesh (NCC,B) together with Environment Defence Network and Unnayan Dhara Trust hosted a news conference at Dhaka Reporters' Unity on Sunday to reveal the findings.

Aminur Rasul Babul, member secretary of Unnayan Dhara, chaired the event while Mahbubur Rahman Apu, lead investigator of the study and NCC,B research and advocacy officer, presented a keynote paper.

As many as 55.6-per cent participants answered 'No' when asked if they received any instruction or guidance from health division, city corporations, municipalities, ward councils and other responsible authorities for management of waste generated from personal protective equipment.

The remaining 44.4 per cent reported that they got sort of instructions, said the investigator of this study.

Some 61.2-per cent respondents said waste is collected in the same container with other common waste and 36.1 per cent said waste is collected in separate containers.

Besides, such mismanagement puts a serious threat to agricultural land, rivers, lakes, water and soil as well as the environment, pointed out the study.

It will appear in the coming days as a cause of waterlogging in large cities countrywide, it said.

A five-point demand was placed at the programme, including a campaign to raise mass awareness of infectious waste and formation of a comprehensive policy on infectious waste management.

The speakers demanded strict anti-waste dumping law to prevent irregular dumping of waste in reservoirs and framing a contagious waste management monitoring cell.

They also demanded amendments to 'Medical Waste (Management and Processing) Rules 2008' and 'Infectious Diseases (Prevention, Control and Removal) Act 2018'.


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