September 8, 2019

Major urban centres across the country continue to be challenged by garbage and waste management


The federal government’s ban on single-use plastic bags, which is currently being enforced in the Islamabad Capital Territory, is an encouraging move. The decision has steered the conversation on waste management in the right direction, with the focus now shifting towards environment-friendly alternatives. Obviously, there is a long way to go before any concrete progress in this regard can be made. The government has been urged to look into a more comprehensive approach towards waste disposal and management.

While the ban is expected to be implemented in other parts of the country in the coming months, this is just one approach to the larger issue of managing our waste. Major urban centres across the country continue to be challenged by garbage and waste management. From inefficient systems, lack of funds and resources to power politics being played at the cost of an ever increasing garbage problem, urban waste disposal systems across Pakistan leave a lot to be desired.

While every government has expressed its resolve to fight the menace, with some even introducing legislations that help make garbage a lesser problem, there is much more that needs to be done in making disposal management systems more efficient. Karachi, it seems, is far more challenged with the problem given its complicated political dynamic that is blamed for interference in service delivery. Given the situation across the country, Lahore’s waste management system appears to offer a sort of a role model for other urban centres. Yet, even the best among the existing systems is faced with a multitude of challenges - such is the case with the Lahore Waste Management System as well.

Also read: The rot here is too great

At the heart of the situation is the need to appreciate the magnitude of the problem. Efficient waste management systems, legislations and fines could only do so much. Generating awareness among the masses is of utmost importance. It is then not a problem for the government alone but our collective and individual responsibility to ensure that we truly understand the need to keep our surroundings and our environment clean, for our future’s sake if nothing else.