English translation provided by community member emma520
Poor sanitation is the “gaping wound” of overpopulated communities in Bukavu, DRC. Overburden related to demographic, topography (low levels of inclining ground that drains drinkable water), negative social attitudes and a lack of gutters and equipment to drain waste are a few reasons for our poor public health situation.
Environmental factors are also contributing to poor sanitation. Below is a list of factors that have caused degradation of the local ecosystem:
air pollution, carbon emission, propagation of foul odours, rockfall build-ups, electocutions from cables in collectors, toxic odours, landscape changes, excessive plastic waste, poor waste management, lack of green spaces, degrading and outdated water pipes and using toxic products for fishing.
Climate change also has an effect on sanitation, including: deforestation caused by refugees cutting trees in the forest during recurrent wars, methane and CO2 gas levels in Lake Kivu, lack of environmental education in the community and torrential rains and floods.
All of these factors result in recurring epidemics such as cholera and other infectious diseases. They have become a way of life few will visit, despite Bukavu having potential as a cultural and tourist site.
In order to find a sustainable solution, environmental education to the public is essential.
The fight against poor sanitation remains the priority for environmental activists. For all solutions to be sustainable, they must create a framework for all legitimately represented in sanitation.
PEOPLE WITHOUT VOICES ASBL propose the following:
scouring gutters to water and waste stagnation, regularly draining off water from land and buildings (runoffs), having a sorted garbage collection system, placing garbage bins in places accessible to all, installing an individual sanitation system (septic tank), hygiene awareness, environmental safety measures as well as a flood control plan, transplanting turf along roads and free places for dumps, and restoring vegetation cover.
In short, garbage collection, cleaning of gutters and sewerage will without a doubt lower waterborne disease-related deaths in the affected districts.