By Ayyaz Gulzar
Caritas Pakistan yesterday launched a solid waste management system in the country’s most populous city Karachi to promote recycling.
The project includes forming environmental protection groups in slums, appointing garbage collectors, distributing more than a thousand dustbins and eight wheelbarrows to collect the garbage in a city that produces about 9,000 tons of solid waste each day, according to Dominic Gill, executive secretary of Caritas Pakistan Karachi (CPK).
“Less than 50 percent is dumped into open landfills, while the rest is left unattended. Slums on the outskirts suffer the most,” he said at the handing over of 150 dustbins among 75 families at Saif-ul-Marri Goth, 60 kilometers from Karachi.
The project is being administered by a livelihood program at CPK that has already implemented initiatives on kitchen gardening, tree plantation and the use of more fuel efficient stoves in the area.
“Each family will pay 30 rupees [approximately US$ 0.33] for the salary of garbage collectors. Future plans include teaching them the converting of waste into soil fertilizers and encouraging recycling,” said Mansha Noor, Caritas’ livelihood program coordinator.
Ayub Shafi, a local beneficiary, hailed the Caritas Pakistan project. “Our children used to play around heaps of garbage thrown in empty plots. Cholera and malaria were common diseases,” he said.