Dump it but properly

Development has its own challenges as every construction causes a lot of destruction resulting in loads of dumping of waste, whose disposal poses a big challenge for the civic authorities.
Unmindful of the consequences, people just dump the waste anywhere, particularly in some low lying areas, without bothering to know the repercussions that could have. The lack of awareness could be one of the reasons for the dumping.
In most cases, these low lying areas are water courses, natural canals, ‘wadis’ in the local language.
All the construction debris is dumped in such areas. When it rains, the absence of a proper outlet in the canals causes water-logging on the roads, including flooding of the residential areas.
We also hear about accidents, drownings, electrocution and other such issues, which can all be avoided through proper management of construction waste.
A pioneering step was taken by the local authorities in Salalah recently in which an estimated 40,000 tonnes of waste were removed from a wadi course to ensure smooth flow of water.
The move was an overwhelming success as a committee comprising the officials of Ministry of Environment, Raysut Industrial Estate, Salalah Municipality, Salalah Sanitary Drainage Services Company (SSDC) and Public Authority for Mining supervised the operation.
It was a common practice to dump construction waste all along the wadi until the authorities realised the problem and resorted to corrective measures.
An official involved in the cleaning drive made it clear the problem was more or less the same everywhere as the trash thrown in the main ‘wadi’ gets deposited in the water course, causing wadis to change course and overflow.
This is dangerous, as it can cause flash floods in the event of heavy rains.
He cited the example of Wadi Garab, which was cleaned and 40,000 tonnes of construction waste were removed.
The wadi is the central point for other wadis like Wadi Nar, Wadi Kafot and Wadi Gardon. The main canal was blocked, while the other canals were feeding the water during the monsoon.
To raise public awareness, the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources launched a campaign titled ‘Oman Without Distortions’ through many activities.
The idea was to work as a team in which government and private agencies and the community members resolved to get rid of the construction waste in a proper and safe manner.
Experts, however, have called for regulatory measures for having an effective control over construction waste. They have sought levy of a fee on individuals/companies for dumping construction waste.
There are others who suggest the recycling of construction waste, reuse of concrete, steel and wood materials suitably in the transport and other sectors.
Some efforts have been initiated in the Sultanate in this direction, but more needs to be done on a larger scale.