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     Volume 8 Issue 96 | November 27, 2009 |

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Cleaning the Waste During Eid

Ershad Kamol

Moving in and around the city during the Eid-ul-Azha is absolutely a horrendous experience. Cleaning the capital during the Eid Ul Azha becomes a major challenge for the responsible government agency since thousands of animals are sacrificed right on the streets and the waste is usually left out in the open. Apart from its regular task to clean the waste generated by over 12 million people living in the capital, Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has to take additional responsibilities of creating systematic disposal options for the city dwellers during this particular Eid. With limited manpower, financial support and equipment, cleaning the city in the shortest period of time continues to be an uphill task for DCC.

As a result, the waste remains rotting in the streets for at least two-days emanating the noxious smells.

The problem begins a few days before Eid day when people buy animals from the local haats that spring up everywhere and then when they keep these animals in apartments and houses, which do not have any facility to keep such animals for a few days. Many citizens indiscriminately dispose of the straw and excreta of the animals here and there, contributing to the pollution even before the sacrificing of the animals.

It is a mammoth task for DCC to clean this extra waste.

It is a mammoth task for DCC to clean this extra waste. This problem deteriorates on the Eid day when millions of cattle are sacrificed and blood is spilled on the lanes. Claiming DCC is gearing up activities to remove the waste generated from the sacrifice of animals in two days, DCC Chief Waste Management Officer, Captain Bipon Kumar Saha says that along with the fleet of 8,000 regular cleaning staff, DCC has employed 1,400 additional cleaners to do the job. Moreover, private waste collection service providers will be included in the cleaning programme led by DCC.

"We will also deploy all of our logistical equipment such as garbage trucks, containers, trawlers, pray loaders, tire-dodgers, dump trucks and water lorries for this purpose. Moreover, we have requested Wasa and the Fire Service department to provide us water-carrying trucks, which will be engaged in spraying water in all the areas to clean the blood of the sacrificed animals. Sufficient amount of bleaching powder and antiseptic to be used for cleaning, has also been distributed to the zones."

However, the DCC high official believes that only DCC cannot tackle this situation unless people become more aware and carry out their responsibilities properly. "Without support from the public it will be difficult for us to clean the city in time. We will try our best to clean the waste but most people do not behave responsibly. It would be a lot easier to clean the city if the devotees sacrificed the animals in a designated spot instead of soiling the streets," he says.

DCC will start awareness generating programmes for proper disposals in every locality ahead of Eid. The high official says a mass awareness programme has already been launched by posting advertisements in newspapers, and distribution of stickers, leaflets and posters. "We will also request the imams of mosques and Eid congregations to create awareness among the devotees about cleanliness and tell them how the wastes should be removed. Moreover, we will start making announcements on mikes two days ahead of the Qurbani Eid in all the wards. The do's and don'ts prepared by the DCC regarding animal waste disposal will be read out so that people get an idea how to deal with it," says the high official.

Piles of garbage in alleyways are a common sight in Dhaka. It is most likely to get worse n the coming days.

He further adds, "If people keep the Qurbani waste in a separate dustbin other than throwing here and there, our cleaners would be able to pick it from the dustbin. It is very important that nobody dumps the waste in the drains."

The best way to manage the waste would be to dig a hole and bury the leftovers there. If there is any blood spilt on the ground it should immediately be washed off with a lot of water and bleaching powder.


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