By 2025, 2.2 billion tons of solid waste is expected to
be generated by cities the world over. Currently, the figure stands at 1.3
billion tons. This indicates that, globally, solid waste generation is on the
rise in every country, especially in West African Countries and for that matter
Ghana. By that year, the annual cost of waste management will surge upwardly
from the current $ 205.4 billion to $375.5 billion.
As the world’s population continues to hike, solid waste
generation cannot seize to boom. Countries like the United States are rolling
out regulatory frameworks and robust strategies to tackle the challenges waste
pose on their economies.
In the case of West Africa, whereas some countries are
doing considerably well, others remain increasingly inactive in waste
management. Such countries continue to suffer myriad of health challenges, one
of the harsh implications of solid waste.
Annually, Ghana generates about 3.0 million tons of solid
waste with a daily output of 13,000 tons of solid waste. However, the national
average per capita daily waste generation rates has increased to 0.5kg
currently. Management of solid waste is the responsibility of the various
Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs). These are the various
decentralized government departments at the various regions of Ghana, and the
problem of poor waste management cut across all the Assemblies. For example, in
the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region of Ghana, generates a total of
40.18 tons of municipal solid waste per day and the average solid waste
generation per capita per day was estimated as 0.4 5kg.
Rapid modernization associated with development and
unlimited importation of solid products in West African countries has been
ticked as the main cause of the waste explosion the continent. The
incapacitated nature of these countries in waste collection and management will
multiply their health challenges and consequently endanger their economies.
However, solid waste, despite its adverse effects on our
communities is a primary source of methane, a powerful GHG that is particularly
impactful in the short-term.
Plastic is high on the list when it comes to solid waste.
Not only Ghana, but many countries in Africa are battling with plastic waste –
their gutters are full of this type of waste which often cause floods and other