Somaliland: University Students Raise Concern over Poor Sanitation

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Honouring outgoing Mayor Eng Jiir - 2nd leftBy: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The haphazard disposal of used plastic containers is set on afflicting citizen’s health profoundly.

This concern has been pointed out by students from the Faculty of Environment at the College of science in Hargeisa University during a presentation they made on the essentials of Waste recycling.

The students who are preparing to become the first alumni of the Faculty of Environment decried the deteriorating sanitation especially within major towns of the country which is as a result of poor and haphazard garbage collection.

During the presentation attended by various officials and Environmental specialists the students displayed recycling machines that they say could reverse the current trend that sees plastic bags and containers adorning the towns.

While decrying the lacklustre garbage collection by local councils the country’s future environmentalists urge local and central authorities to embark on proper strategies geared towards 100% garbage collection and disposal as well as institute legislation geared towards mandatory punishment for haphazard disposal of the used plastic containers.

According to student Mohamed Abdala Hussein who led the team that designed the recycling proposal the first priority by the authorities should be the allocation of specific and conducive dump sites for garbage disposal followed by training of sanitation employees at each council, deterrence legislation, acquisition of modern equipment, public sanitation awareness campaigns and finally relevant deterrent legislation in that order.

Said he, “Considering the improved tax collection coupled with political determination and commitment to community health nationwide the prevalent poor sanitation engulfing citizens is reversible”

While stressing on the fact that proper disposal of not only all sorts of garbage and subsequent recycling will improve the country’s health Master M A Husein also informed that this strategy could also contribute to the creation of hundreds of much needed jobs both skilled and unskilled.

Adding his voice to the student’s concern Environmentalist Ahmed Ibrahim Awale informed that the multi-coloured plastic containers strewn all over each and every trading cParticipantsentre regardless of size has extended to destroying marine life in far off waters of Somaliland.

He recounted his shock on seeing millions of plastic bags and likewise liquid containers blocking the free flow of waters during a recent visit to a seaside town, said he, “During the rainy seasons The millions of used and uncollected plastic bags scattered in the towns are carried to the ocean where they pollute the waters and cause harm to marine life”

While adding his support to the students cravings for environmental protection Mr Awale urged the authorities to act now rather than later thus save not only thousands of dollars spent on preventable and avoidable ailments but leave behind a legacy of their tenure.

The dean of the Faculty of Environment Prof Ahmed Mohamed Adaad who Briefed participants on the history and achievements garnered by the newly created Faculty at University of Hargeisa’s College of Sciences asked the City municipality to assist the university with the acquisition of much needed meteorological equipment.

Said the Prof, “If availed weather forecasting tools the Hargeisa University would produce skilled meteorologists thus greatly help alleviate hardships encountered not only from the frequent unannounced and prolonged droughts but reduce destruction on life and property meted upon citizens by flooding induced by heavy rains”

The mayor of the Hargeisa city Municipality Eng Yusuf Warsame Saeed who thanked the students for their insightful recommendations on Waste management promised to incorporate the designs into strategies being put in place by the new council as pertains to ensuring a 100% garbage free thus sanitary conducive city.

Bring the meet to conclusion was the minister of Environment Hon Mohamed Saeed Ga’ame who revealed that the students presentation was the best and most useful if adapted that he has seen since he became a member of the Somaliland government’s council of Ministers.

It now remains to be seen as per the action taken by relevant authorities as per the student’s viable proposal for garbage free towns considering that our towns are synonymous with multi-coloured plastic bags hanging from window panes, door frames, and every shrub not to mention that they also fill many potholes in our roads.

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