In Africa, where many communities struggle with poverty and have little access to essential amenities, landfills are providing an unconventional answer to this widespread issue. These landfills, which are typically seen as environmental eyesores and health risks, have unrealized potential that may drastically improve the lives of the continent’s poorest citizens.
This article analyzes the groundbreaking possibility of burning African trash to generate electricity and how this practice can help alleviate global poverty.
Africa’s landfills represent the difficulties experienced by emerging countries. They frequently overflow with trash, causing environmental degradation, risks to public health and an overall sense of neglect.
Close proximity to landfills in poor neighborhoods causes health issues. This is caused by a lack of hygiene, direct contact with toxic substances and the presence of pests. Families are forced to spend more of their already strained resources on health care, which reduces the amount that otherwise would be allocated to economic growth or education.
Landfills also discourage prospective investors, limit tourism and restrict the expansion of local small companies. The negative perception of these areas as “icky” feeds a vicious cycle of poverty.
Another problem is that many Africans suffer from energy poverty, a lack of reliable access to energy sources for absolute necessities. These can include lighting, heating, cooking and running necessary appliances. Addressing energy poverty is essential for fighting against global poverty.
New Possibilities in Energy Production
Landfills and energy poverty are two significant nuisances to Africa’s progress. However, a new technology may promise the continent a solution to both of these poverty-related issues. Africa may be able to supply many of its electricity demands by burning landfill garbage with controlled, environmentally friendly methods.
Burning landfill waste results in an enormous decrease in the volume of solid waste, making landfills easier to manage and improving the general sanitation and hygiene in the area while also lowering the danger of infectious diseases. Keeping landfills clean and well-maintained makes the local environment healthier. Although one may think too much particulate matter (PM) is released from this burning, the EPA argues that more than 99% of PM can be removed through filters.
Developing landfill-to-energy projects offers residents of underdeveloped areas employment opportunities. These programs, ranging from waste collection and sorting to operating energy-producing machinery, can give people and families who are dealing with poverty a source of income.
Landfills in Africa have the potential to represent hope for underprivileged populations. Africa may produce up to 20% of its own electricity by unlocking the energy trapped in these trash piles. In addition to addressing energy poverty, burning African trash also provides more hygienic conditions, employment prospects and environmental advantages. Africa can turn trash into treasure and make a huge step toward a brighter, more sustainable future for all of its citizens with the correct investments, policies and community involvement. The continent can fight poverty by turning its waste into valuable energy sources.
– Advait K. Mishra