Waste Discharge: Reddish Eyed Community Cries For Help

AREWA AGENDA – Residents of Panshekara community near Challawa Industrial Area of Kano State have cried out for help over wastes disposed in their domain as it affects their health and those of their families especially as the rainy season approaches.

Most of the residents who have reddish eyes confirmed that it’s mostly as a result of the speck emanating from the dumpsite that constantly enters their eyes.

Behind the Coca Cola Company in the Challawa Industrial Area is a dumpsite where solid debris are heaped for burning and few meters away from the site is a stream laden with wastes of chemicals, plastics and animal skin hair all of which are coming from factory by products in Sharada and Challawa Industrial areas of the State.

A waste disposal tractor dumps garbage at the site. On the ground are burnt ashes of rice chaff.

While some of the solid wastes are either excavated by farmers or used to fill up trenches in the area as confirmed to us by one of the waste disposers who identified himself as Mallam Bashir Ismail, the already contaminated, reddish stream flows into Hadeija and Wudil rivers where residents fetch water for domestic use.

This water, reddish and contaminated flows to Hadeija and Wudil where it’s been utilized domestically.

Speaking to Arewa Agenda, residents of the area complained that they and their children are seriously sick as a result of the waste management practices in their area.

“We are mostly affected during the rainy season because even if they come and spray chemicals on the waste, rain water washes it away. As for the ashes and the rice chaff, sometimes when it affects us, we have to use our own money to get medication for treatment we can even spend days with eye problems. We need help, if possible this dumpsite should be relocated and if there is any medication being administered as a result of this, they should please help us with it.” Cries Abdurrahman, a resident of Yandanko community of the Area.

Another resident who identified herself as Aisha said, “The odour is seriously affecting us and the chaff is always entering our eyes.”

A visit to one of the Tannery industries in the Challawa area reveals to us that wastes from hides and skin treatments to finished leather product undergo various processes and stages that generates either solid or liquid wastes.

The liquid wastes are discharged through drainages that goes to the stream behind the Coca Cola plant in Challawa and the solid wastes are taken from collection points by garbage tractors or compactors and dumped in the same site.

One of the factory drainages that flows to the site.

However, no concrete evidence of waste recycling for alternative use or treatment of waste before disposal is observed.

Dr. Haruna Shehu Usman from the Department of Science, School of Continuing Education, Bayero University Kano expressed concern about the effect of releasing Industrial waste without treatment on both the environment and public health.

“Discharging wastes like this affects the aquatic biota and the ecosystem at large so it has a very pronounced implication.”
He called on regulatory bodies to ensure factories have treatment plants before they are given license to operate in order to reduce the affluent that effects the environment at large.

Burning waste is usually an environmentally poor waste management option because potential resources are lost and it can cause air, land and water pollution.

While burning of solid waste and discharge of liquid waste is a common practice, the process does not encourage recycling and waste reduction in addition, smoke emitted by burning and the ash waste can potentially harm people and the environment.

Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards peaceful coexistence and national development through positive narratives. 

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