The capital of Guinea-Bissau produces around 200 tonnes of solid waste every day and only 50 percent is removed, Augusto Pansau Pacheco, an environmental activist from a non-governmental organisation that is trying to conserve the Bissau wetlands, told Lusa
Last week, a Guinean Civil Protection official, Alsau Sambu, told Lusa that if immediate action is not taken Bissau’s inhabitants will soon run out of areas to grow food, due to the level of pollution with debris from the main wetlands around the city.
Augusto Pacheco corroborated the Civil Protection warnings and also said that the amount of waste he was talking about was that accounted for in the areas where the Bissau City Council was involved.
The environmentalist, a member of the Organisation for the Defence of Wetlands (ODZH) argued that if measures were not taken to “halt the advance and presence of rubbish” in the lives of Bissau-Guineans, the consequences “will not be long in coming, in terms of the environment and the health” of the inhabitants.
Augusto Pacheco, who is dedicated to studying the problem of solid waste in Guinea Bissau, has pointed to what he says are dangers that the country could run if it does not “quickly resolve” the issue of recycling waste.
“The Bissau City Council only does the collection and removal of part of the rubbish that is produced daily. There is no treatment system, although the municipality has said it has a project underway to this end,” he noted.
Plastic and glass are the main waste produced in Bissau, said Augusto Pacheco, pointing to the Bandim and Militar neighbourhoods as the “main centres of waste production.
He fears that the country “will feel the consequences even more” of the forecast, which indicates that by 2025 around 5.2 million people could die in the world as a result of diseases caused by a lack of solid waste treatment.
About 4 million of those deaths will be children, Pacheco noted.