Poor disposal of diapers, a heath hazard for Malawans

By Zione James

What seemed to be a solution and a welcomed development to Malawians, including people residing around Liwonde township turns out to have gradual detrimental impacts on the ecosystem.

Baby diapers, is now a fast growing trend amongst modern women as they save time and energy of washing the traditional nappies. However, the major problem surrounding diapers is poor disposal. However, what seemed to be the way to go is actually culminating into a health hazard to many especially those along water bodies like rivers. Not so long ago, people were drinking river water without any health problems.

Many a times, most people, especially mothers, have simply gone into a habit of having an accumulation of used diapers in a plastic bag for a week or so and later dump the bag anywhere, anyhow without taking into consideration the negative lasting impact to many aspects of life in the ecosystem.

Marrium Tambula, a mother of a newly born baby says that on her part, she makes sure all the used diapers are dried before setting them on fire as a means of disposing the diapers. “I always make sure I have put the diapers in the sun for a day and later come to set fire on the dried ones, it works. Perhaps if my fellow women would follow suit we can reduce the hazards and make our residences clean.”

Machinga Environmental Officer, Andrew Hamuza, bemoaned the tendency of throwing used baby diapers anywhere, anyhow. “As the world is now migrating to good practices by making sure no more plastics are buried in the soils where people depend on for food production, there is need to properly dispose diapers because they are non biodegradable. Apart from causing land pollution, diapers if disposed in the water bodies can make water unsafe for drinking. This is a man-made disaster which is not fair and need to be halted before it even escalates,” Machinga said.

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