Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Even Garbage and Human Waste have something to offer?

In Pakistan,with a population of 178 million people, a lot of human waste is generated, which creates a permanent problem of its disposal ,contributing to many water borne diseases and non-sanitary conditions.This could be converted into an asset, by suitably treating the human waste and utilizing the energy and fertilizer content of it.Human waste is of two types;one is the garbage and the other is the output of Latrines.Both can be treated and are useful and pay for their treatment.

On the average,a family in Pakistan as in other poor developing country generates 0.6 kg of garbage,most of it is organic biomass which contains compost-able material generating biofertiliser and as well as bio gas.In Karachi , like many other big cities in the country and elsewhere,this would main a daily generation of household trash to the tune of 2000 tons. Less than half of it is actually collected , and the rest somehow appears and disappears.The portion which is collected is dumped on the open public lands near the population of the poor people,who suffer from the nuisance and infections caused to them.The inorganic material is even burnt in the open generating poisonous gases.This actually means returning the garbage to people in gaseous form.

Similarly human refuse(sewerage) can generate bio-gas, fertilizer and recycle-able water for non-potable purposes.We are getting short of both energy and water.Water use efficiency , conservation and recycling offer the much needed solution to our ever increasing requirements.Human refuse, possibly ,the humblest being is offering itself as an opportunity and refuses to continue as a liability.

Leadership,effort,sensitivity and above all money is required in the form of investments that eventually is paid off.Where does the money come from? Industrialized countries are ready to invest and even grant some money for free i .e. no interest , no pay back through the famous Clean Development Mechanism(CDM).Garbage in open litter gives away Methane which is 16 times more harmful as a Green House Gas(GHG) than Carbon Dioxide.So if we collect and treat garbage and utilize its Methane as energy resource and residue as its fertilizer, we solve our hygiene problem and as well as get some free energy.More Mustafa Kamals , as mayors of cities, certainly can provide the required leadership. There are many young men around who have the potential and unfortunately retire and die prematurely ,as no body finds and discovers them.So we need older wise men to discover this younger lot.Dont expect me to do any thing,for I can only write blogs and books.

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