14 Aug 2014

ACDI/VOCA - Environmental Workshop Helps Highlight Concerns on Waste Disposal

When noxious smells from the burning of large quantities of garbage created concern among residents of Diyala’s Baquba district, the locally-based CSO, Vera Humanitarian Institution for Women's Development, in coordination with the Civic Participation Hub in Khanaqin and the Iraqi Culture House in Diyala, conducted a successful workshop entitled “Chemicals and Their Influence on the Environment,”. Waste disposal for many businesses and individuals has meant dumping and burning of garbage in unregulated landfills, open lots, streets, and backyards. A mix of plastics, paper, electrical components, ash, clothing, paint, chemicals, etc. makes a potentially lethal brew of toxic ingredients, including carcinogens and heavy metals.
With the aim of highlighting the increasing health and environmental risks of burning garbage, the workshop imparted a timely and effective message. Participants learned about the types of chemicals used in everyday household items, and the associated health and environmental risks from their improper disposal. “It is crucial that citizens be made aware of the implications of burning garbage and chemical materials and their impacts on human health,” said the head of CSO Vera, Ms. Etimad Rasheed. “With increasing levels of consumption and waste, the old ways of disposing rubbish are no longer appropriate. Iraq’s citizens need to become more aware of safe and proper garbage disposal to protect our health and our environment”. 
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