Collect garbage in urban areas to curb disease


Murang'a county government workers clear garbage swept off from a nearby dump site to a public road by heavy rains.

Photo credit: Mwangi Muiruri I Nation Media Group

Garbage collection is a crucial aspect of urban living. It ensures that the waste generated by households and businesses is disposed of in a safe and hygienic manner.

However, it is not just about keeping the streets clean; it also plays a significant role in reducing the spread of diseases. 

In urban areas, garbage can accumulate quickly, especially in densely populated neighbourhoods. Left uncollected, garbage can attract rodents, flies and other pests that carry disease-causing microorganisms.

These pests can spread diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever and dysentery. 

Effective garbage collection systems can significantly reduce the risk of disease outbreaks in urban areas. When garbage is properly collected regularly, it reduces the chances of pests breeding and spreading diseases.

It also prevents the accumulation of hazardous waste materials that can pose health risks to humans and the environment. 

Moreover, garbage collection promotes hygiene in urban areas. When garbage is not collected, residents may resort to burning or dumping it in open spaces, which can lead to air pollution and contamination of soil.

These practices can also lead to the release of harmful chemicals and toxins into the environment. 

Garbage collection has other benefits. For instance, it creates employment opportunities for people in the waste management sector. It also helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting recycling and composting. 

But despite the importance of garbage collection, many urban areas face challenges in managing their waste, including inadequate infrastructure, insufficient funding and poor waste management practices.

Environmental degradation

These challenges can lead to environmental degradation, public health risks and social inequalities. 

To address these challenges, governments and other stakeholders need to invest in effective waste management systems. This includes investing in infrastructure such as waste collection trucks, landfills and recycling facilities. It also involves promoting public awareness and education on waste reduction and proper waste disposal practices. 

Therefore, garbage collection is a critical aspect of urban living that has significant implications for public health and the environment. Effective garbage collection systems can reduce the spread of diseases, promote hygiene and create employment opportunities. 

It is essential for governments and other stakeholders to prioritise waste management as part of their development agenda. 

Maryanne Oyie, Kajiado