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SIGNATURE : …………………..

REG. NUMBER : 18/U/0231/PHL/PS






You are appointed as a public health officer in Lira Municipal council. Your assessment of the
community reflects a big problem of solid waste magement.

Explain the likely public consequences the community may face.



Waste is any substance that is considered not useful in the environment and can be harmful to human health.
Every household in a municipal setting produces waste on a daily basis which must be dealt with before it
accumulates to unfriendly health state and if it fails, problems arise, especially when toxic wastes are

Solid waste

Solid waste refers to the range of garbage materials arising from animal and human activities that are
discarded as unwanted and useless. Solid waste is generated from industrial, residential, and commercial
activities within the municipality, and may be handled in a variety of ways. As such, landfills are typically
classified as sanitary, municipal, construction and demolition, or industrial waste sites.

Waste management

Waste management therefore refers to the best practices for the waste handling, collection, transportation
for re-use, recycling (for recyclable materials) and recovering the organic for energy production for
fertilizers. If there is poor waste management, it means that there is poor handling, collection,
transportation and dumping and this will results in negative impacts on human health and environment
that can be summarized as follows:

 Soil contamination

Soil contamination is the number one problem caused by improper waste removal and disposal. Some
wastes that end up in landfills excrete hazardous chemicals that leak into the soil. For example; garbage,
plastic bottles, broken glasses, refuses, etc. When they eventually break down and others partially
decompose, they release leachate which is a very harmful mixture of chemicals that may result in hazardous
substances entering surface water, groundwater or soil. Soil contamination does not only affect plant
growth, it is also unhealthy to humans and animals feeding on those plants.

 Air contamination

Waste that contains hazardous chemicals, such as bleach and acids, needs to be disposed of properly, and
only in approved containers with correct labels.

Some papers and plastics are burned in landfills, emitting gas and chemicals that destroy the ozone layer.
Waste that releases dioxins are also dangerous and pose a health risk when they diffuse into the air that the
community members breathe. Also the methane gases that which is released by the decomposing wastes
and these landfill gases produced by the decomposing wastes, can be explosive and can harm nearby the
public within the municipality setting.
 Water contamination

Poor solid waste management in the environment results into leeching into the ground, and ultimately, into
ground water which is used for various purposes mainly domestic and industrial uses. Toxic liquid
chemicals from waste can also seep into water streams and bodies of water.

Waste that end up in water bodies negatively change the chemical composition of the water. Technically,
this is called water pollution. This will affect all ecosystems existing in the water. It can also cause harm to
animals that drink from such polluted water

Untreated sewage can threaten marine life that comes into contact with the contaminated water hence
destroying them and suffocating marine habitats, such as corals. Contaminated water is also dangerous and
harmful to humans who consume fish and other marine life hence affecting the public’s health.

 Bad impact on human health

Improper disposal of waste can greatly affect the health of the population living nearby the polluted area or
landfills. Waste disposal workers and other employees in these landfill facilities are at a greater risk.
Exposure to improperly handled wastes can cause skin irritations, blood infections, respiratory problems,
growth problems, and even reproductive issues.

 Disease-carrying vectors and pests

Mosquitoes and rats are known to live and breed in sewage areas, and both are known to carry life-
threatening diseases. Mosquitoes breed in cans and tires that collect water, and can carry diseases such as
malaria and dengue fever to humans. Rats find food and shelter in landfills and sewage, and they can carry
diseases such as leptospirosis and salmonellosis. Moreover, moisture production from waste is a breeding
ground for mould since it’s bacteria that has the ability to spread and grow given the appropriate conditions,
such as moisture production from appliances and food scraps. These affect human health due to poor solid
waste management in the environment.

 Adversely affect the local economy

Everyone wants to stay and live in a healthy, clean, fresh, and sanitary place. A municipal or any other area
with poor waste management will certainly not attract tourists or investors. Landfill facilities that are
mismanaged can cause the local economy to sink, which can then affect the livelihood of the local people
hence affecting their health generally since the government can’t get revenue from these businesses

 Blockage of drainage systems and flooding:

Dumping of solid waste in drainage channels, gutters etc may block the flow of waste or storm water. This
may cause flooding. Floods are associated with many disease epidemics like cholera, etc.
 Missed recycling opportunities

Due to poor solid waste management in the environment, chances of re-using or recycling wastes are very
minimal. In some municipals, there is revenue on recycling which is missed by some of the municipalities
which do not implement proper removal and recycling of wastes. They also miss out on the resources that
can be reused and the employment opportunities that a recycling centre brings in the area.

 Municipal wellbeing:

Everyone wants to live and visit places that are clean, fresh and healthy. A city with poor sanitation, smelly
and with waste matter all over the place does not attract good people, investors and tourists. Such cities
tend to have poor living standards.

 Extreme climate changes

Decomposing waste emits gases that rise to the atmosphere and trap heat. Greenhouse gases are one of the
major culprits behind the extreme weather changes that the world is experiencing. People are experiencing
and suffering the negative effects of greenhouse gases in the agricultural fields due to poor solid waste

 Human injury

For example when a person is walking or steps on the sharp objects like broken bottles, nails, pins, needles,
he may get injured which may lead to bleeding and/or infections. Dangerous items such as broken glass,
razor blades, needles and other healthcare wastes pose risks of injury or poisoning, particularly to children
and people who are engaged in waste sorting and handling.

 Nuisance

Poor solid waste management in the environment can result into annoyance, uncomfortability, offence,
trouble or injury which is either to the public or private individuals. This is due to the unhygienic practices
of the community members.

 Dampness of walls and accumulation of moisture in the walls: this leads to collapse of houses
and human injuries as well as cost of management
 Impact on animals and marine life

Poor solid waste management in the environment does not only affect us, but also other living organisms
such as animals which suffer the effects of pollution caused by improperly disposed wastes and rubbish.
Animals which consume on grasses near contaminated areas or landfills are also at risk of poisoning due to
the toxins that seep into the soil. These animals are latter consumed by human beings who are at very high
risk of contracting such diseases like cancer due to poisoned meat.

 It is slowly killing the planet

Since we only have one planet, and our careless handling of waste is harming it, care of the environment is
everyone’s responsibility, for ourselves, for our planet, and for our children so as to create friendly living
conditions within the planet.

 Fire hazards:

Burning of wastes in a landfill or any other disposal site may lead to fire hazards.

Also processes in a landfill usually lead to the production of methane gas and if this is not carefully managed
it may also lead to fire hazards.


In conclusion, the community is likely to face very many problems due to poor solid waste
management which require immediate public health interventions to create a better life and environment
for the wellbeing of the municipal members, to fully practice their livelihoods and also enjoy a great deal
of health benefits by overcoming these consequences as early as possible.

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