Africa is the second largest continent in terms of area and populations after Asia, at is also one of the poorest continents. These results into high waste generation and law resources to deal with the yearly produced waste, which can form a hazard on the future of the beautiful nature of Africa and health of its people.
Waste Situation in Africa nowadays
According to a recent the World Bank report 93% of the waste in Africa is openly dumped, without taking any measures of waste collection or allocation of sanitary landfills. This is bound to result into environmental issues and health problems in this region. In 2016, Sub-Sahara and Africa generated 174 million of tons per year of waste, this number is expected to jump to 516 million of tons per year of waste in 2050 (World Bank, 2016).
To address these environmental issues, Eco-Spectrum has conducted field research on this topic through a number of virtual meetings with local authority representatives, businessmen and waste management organizations in South Africa under the organized business mission by the Russian Export Center to South African Republic. In the course of the business mission, Eco-Spectrum had the chance to learn about the waste problem and ways to deal with it by first-hand experienced speakers from South African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Uganda and Mozambique.
In general, all feedbacks pointed towards an obvious problem when it comes to waste in South Africa. The issues can be summarized into:
· Deficiency in the number of landfills;
· Usage of expired landfills; landfills are being used up since 1970 until now;
· Waste regulations are applied only for medical waste;
· Absence of authority control on the waste management system in several areas;
· Manual sorting is taking place in the street near dumpsters.
The above issues and many others, are of great concern to governmental officials and environmental authorities and to South African region.
Future of Waste Management in Africa
South Africa communities’ officials and businessmen are aware of the hazardous implications of the waste problem in their region on one hand and the benefits of resolving this issue on the other hands. Looking at recent worlds’ trends and after meeting with Eco-Spectrum, they realize that advantage of waste management is not only limited to improving environmental and health implications, but also extended to financial benefits and future nation prosperity.
The aim of the current leadership in most South African countries is towards resolving the waste issue, however, there are two obstacles to be dealt with along the way. First, it's increasing people awareness of the unfavorable consequences of the current waste management process on the future of their country, and their health. Educating the masses on the possible outcomes of continuation in the same reality when it comes to their environmental surroundings and providing a convincing proof of the welfare can be brought by building an eco-culture inside each community. Second obstacle is financing such projects in terms of investments and operation costs. The operation cost might be even a bigger issue when it comes to the feasibility of the project, as the fuel required for incineration of all the enormous amounts of waste can be extremely pricy.
Based on the abovementioned, in order to step in an “Eco” future in south Africa, there is a prework to be done, however, we believe that with the strong vision towards a cleaner environment, the community representatives will find the right solutions in time.
Eco-Spectrum contribution towards Africa’s waste problem
Eco-Spectrum has thoroughly evaluated the waste issue in South Africa from several aspects, including; history of waste, amount of waste in each country at the moment, challenges faced by society when dealing with waste, financial challenges of waste management, environmental culture awareness and future orientation when it comes to waste. Based on our study, along with the obvious problems, there are great opportunities to improve.
Eco-Spectrum offered multiple solutions with its recent technology to harness waste for the purpose of heating houses and farms, supplying remote production areas with electricity. Furthermore, simple solution for waste sorting and recycling were presented as a solution to benefit local communities.
Many business and political organizations have shown a great admiration and interest in Eco-Spectrums’ modern technology and customized solutions for their needs. Eco-spectrum has been requested to sign several MOUs with high officials of South African countries, with good faith to make South Africa region waste free in the future.