Pollution Control and Waste Management in Developing Countries

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A comprehensive, practical view of environmental management, this book records the experience gained through regional seminars in Africa over several years. It uses real examples to illustrate the points it makes. Subjects covered are: air pollution; coastal and marine pollution; managing domestic, industrial, mining, biomedical, nuclear and radioactive waste; solid waste re-use and recycling; waste water treatment; bioremediation; microbiological assessment and monitoring of pollutants; laboratory waste management; moving hazardous waste between nations; best practice for building a distributed waste network.

The book will be of tremendous benefit to policy-makers, non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations, university and research institutions as well as concerned citizens.



Waste Mangement: the Role of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)

Industrialisation and its consequences helped to increase knowledge in natural sciences about the effects of industrialisation and urbanisation on natural systems (McCormick 1995). Testimony to this development is manifest in the fact that concern about environmental issues were first raised by the industrial world of Europe and North America. The greatest lessons that organisations based in the developing world can learn from the experience of the industrial world is that there is a number of possibilities through which environmental pressure can be exerted on society to raise environmental awareness. For example, Western environmental movements adopted three directions (Feenstra, Hoogeboom, and Vellinga 1995). Two of these directions sought societal change such as (1) action oriented activities aimed at transforming societal values through public mobilisation and awakening and (2) a reformism approach aimed at influencing government policy. The latter sought to bring about public awareness through education. A third direction emphasised personal transformation that would promote individual stewardship toward environmental conservation. This chapter takes the position that a holistic approach to waste management that draws on the strengths of the different approaches holds the greatest potential for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to influence development particularly if they can bring on board the larger public. It reviews the evolution of the environmental movement in the west and shows how the experience from the west can help strengthen the work of organisations in the south.


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