Alarm raised over waste generation
Manama, November 14, 2011
Bahrain's waste is increasing at an alarming rate of five per cent and tackling this issue is one of the primary concerns of the government, said a top official.
In terms of per capita waste generation, Bahrain surpasses many industrialised countries, said Municipal and Urban Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi last night.
'The diversified developmental and industrial activities in Bahrain are responsible for producing and generating a broad spectrum of wastes both in terms of quality and quantity,' he told a waste management forum.
'The country is generating approximately 2,200 tonnes of municipal waste, seven tonnes of healthcare waste and about 380 tonnes of industrial waste per day,' he said.
Municipal waste is managed by the Municipalities and Urban Affairs Ministry, industrial waste by the Public Commission for the Protection of Marine Resources, and Environment and Wildlife and healthcare waste by the Health Ministry.
Dr Al Ka'abi said that with limited land area and increasing population, Bahrain must adopt the most suitable, feasible and environmentally-friendly option of waste treatment and management to reduce any of its impacts on public health and environmental resources.
He said the main challenges include high waste generation rate, mixing of different types of waste, lack of waste segregation at point of generation, lack of genuine involvement and serious commitment among the stakeholders, absence of waste treatment facilities and lack of integrated and multi-disciplinary approach in waste management.
'Waste management is a huge task. All agencies concerned are trying their best to manage the waste quantities generated,' said the minister. 'We have planned projects, tasks and activities that are in line with the Bahrain Economic Vision 2030.'
He said that waste management was everyone's responsibility and Bahrain's air, water and natural resources needed to be used sustainably.
'Zero waste maximises recycling, minimises waste, reduces consumption and ensures that products are made to be reused, repaired or recycled back into nature or the marketplace,' said the Minister. 'We all have a duty to make this world, region and our country a safer and cleaner place.'
Dr Al Ka'abi was speaking at the opening of the First Bahrain Waste Management Forum and Exhibition at the Gulf Hotel's Gulf Convention Centre.
Welcome speeches were delivered by forum chairman and Polytechnic professional development centre director Nisbet Smith, Bahrain Polytechnic chief executive officer John Scott and Constructions Industrielles De La Mediterranee (CNIM) supervisory board vice-chairman and general manager Francois Canellas.
The three-day event, held under the theme Towards Zero Waste, is organised by Bahrain Polytechnic and held under the patronage of Dr Al Ka'abi.
It is supported by United Nations Environmental Programme and the Public Commission for Protection of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife, with Tamkeen as a strategic partner.
The conference brings together international experts to discuss waste management theories, state-of-the-art technologies, latest trends covering various environmental aspects, and offers practical solutions to better manage waste materials.
The exhibition provides a platform for the latest set of solutions to the community.
Exhibitors are displaying and demonstrating their products, services and cutting-edge waste management technology and global trends.
Forum technical sessions will be held today and tomorrow from 9am to 5pm.
The event is open to the public and admission is free.
Key sponsors include CNIM, National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga), Bapco, Banagas, GPIC, Gulf City Cleaning Company (GCCC), Sphinx Services, Bahrain Financial Harbour Holding Company, Alba and Ithmaar Bank.
Gulf Air is the official carrier, Zain Bahrain the official telecommunications sponsor and Intermarkets Bahrain the marketing sponsor. - TradeArabia News Service