Littering of solid Waste on the streats and drainage channels of Kator Payam, Juba County, Central Equatoria State, South Sudan before the clean-up and solid waste management innitiative
“I have a small business and a medicine shop by the road side, I used to be burdened by the bad smell of garbage. I could sell lots of medicine for diseases like malaria, typhoid, diarrhea, respiratory diseases, and skin disease. But now the road is clean, no more bad smell and the sales of medicines for the aforesaid diseases has declined. The environment and the aesthetic view of the surrounding area has been enhanced.” Jada Tongun , Kator, payam - Juba
Solid waste and its disposal constitute a growing problem and has gained increased political and Environmental awareness over recent years. The amount of solid waste generated and disposed off in Juba, South Sudan is steadily increasing and the government is currently focusing on methods to approach the severity of solid waste.
Solid Waste is an unavoidable byproduct of human activities. Economic development, urbanization and improved living standards in cities such as Juba have led to an increase in the quantity and complexity of solid waste generated. Rapid population growth and industrialization degrades the urban ecosystem and exerts serious stress on natural resources, which undermines equitable and sustainable development. Inefficient management and disposal of solid waste is an obvious cause of environmental degradation to most cities of the developing world.
Municipal corporations of the developing countries such as South Sudan are not able to handle increasing quantities of solid waste, which results in accumulation of poorly disposed waste on roads and in other public places; this waste ends up in water bodies - the Nile inclusive. There is a need to work towards a sustainable solid waste management system, which requires environmental, institutional, financial, economic and social sustainability. The purpose of MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE management (MSW) system is to improve the present practices of MSW that prevail in many developing countries where it has received sufficient attention. This article describes the present scenario of the SWM practices carried out in Kator Payam, Juba County – Juba City.
Kator is one of the settlements in Juba under the jurisdiction of Juba City in terms of services and waste management. Kator is located in the southern part of Juba town, a few meters to the bank of River Nile, covering an area of 0.87km2. It has a stream called Lobuleit - along which slum residents dump waste and when it rains, the waste flows to the Nile. Many of the Households in Kator live in the slum, with more than 100 shops available by the road side. The road leading to para/slum was always littered with scattered waste; users of this road were however not bothered about this situation.
There was no specific place for waste gathering and disposal so the slum dwellers and shop owners dumped waste by the road side in a scattered manner; some would even dump it in Lobuleit streams. People walked by the stashes of stinking waste, covering noses by their hands. Both adults and children suffered from the bad odor, diarrhea, respiratory diseases, and skin infections among other ailments.
Most people in Kator earn their livelihood through engaging in small scale business like selling locally brewed alcohol, wood and charcoal selling, vending food stalls, employment as maids and house helps, and running petty errands. The area is not connected to tap/safe water, and unemployment and poverty rates are high.
Initial effort by Conserve the Environment – South Sudan (CESS) and Community Based Organization (CBO), both members of the South Sudan NDF partnering with Kator Quarter Council to overcome the problem of solid waste management was never successful. CESS and CBO decided to counter the problem on their own. A Waste Management Committee was formed in the Kator community and trucks were hired through mutual agreement with owners - given the responsibility to collect waste from households and shops by the roadside; and dispose it at the City landfill/dumping site. After this initiative, the community became more vigilant and disposal of waste on the roadside is no more. CESS and CBO did awareness raising to slum dwellers and shop owners to continue collecting waste in the sacks/bags and submitting to trucks when the collection routine comes.
In appreciation of the effort made by CESS and CBO and the waste management committee, households and shop owners committed to pay 1000 South Sudanese Pound (SSP) each per month towards sustainability of the waste collection initiative. Currently, the roads remain clean with no odor and discomfort of people using it. The community is well pleased with the initiative and very glad to see the change with a lesson that if there is a will, there is a way.
Conserve the Environment – South Sudan (CESS) is a National Non-Governmental Organization and a member of the South Sudan NDF. The organization was strategically established to address challenges facing the local communities in their respective areas by initiating developmental projects/programs with the aim of enhancing the livelihoods of the local communities in rural areas
Dr. John Leju Celestino Ladu
National Technical Support Expert - South Sudan NDF