Increased huge waste volumes are now a common phenomenon in many major world cities. This has resulted in management crisis due to costs and lack of disposal sites. Most have resulted to recycling which exposes the workers to diverse health risks in the process of manual sorting out, scheming and separation of wastes. Kenya has no policies or guidelines addressing health issues in recycling work yet the national burden of occupational diseases and injuries remain unknown. Cases are not documented, due to lack of an occupational health programme addressing recycling. Promotion of healthy work (environments, practices and places) in line with the second WHO Global Strategy for Occupational Health and Safety is low or lacking (UN-Habitat, 2014). In observance of World Conventions, guidelines and standards in safe waste handling and its management, Kenya needs data available only through carrying out studies addressing all critical factors and aspects affecting recycling. This study was designed as an attempt to fill that gap. A descriptive cross sectional study, which evaluated the health risks associated with recycling, was carried out in Dandora, the main dumpsite in Nairobi County, Kenya. Only about 850 tons of the 3,000 to 3,200 tons of solid waste generated daily by Nairobi’s 6.5 million people reach the dumpsite. Selected randomly and recruited in the study, were 240 recyclers from whom data was obtained using open and close-ended questionnaires. A significant association was found between sex of recyclers and marital status (χ2= 24.5, df = 3 P<0.05). Most recyclers were separated, divorced or single (χ2 = 18.2, df = 1, p<0.05). The recyclers comprised 67% males and 33% females, with a mean age of 31.2 ± (SE of 0.87). Most respondents (78%) had been taken ill in the last 2 years, with 79% reporting multiple suffering, respiratory (37%), malaria (8%), eye problems (4%), muscle pains (3%), and others (7%). Of the 25% whose family members had suffered a similar disease, 97% reported fatal outcomes, 3% none, while 1% could not recall if it had occurred. There was a statistically significant association between sex and injuries with 50% of health care providers reporting more infections in males than in females (χ2 = 103.3, df = 9, p < 0.05). The health problems associated with recycling were respiratory (62%), cuts (22%), typhoid (13%) and back muscle pains (2%). All the 240 respondents were aware there was need for preventive health care to elevate the status of health in their work. Over 59% were aware that glass posed the highest physical injury risk. In contrast to awareness, association between knowledge and practice was significantly low ((χ2= 157.07, df = 4, p<0.05). Recycling was perceived as risky by 85% of the recyclers, with 15% reporting it had no risks. Improvised protective equipments sorted from the wastes were used by 30% of the recyclers, 96% ate food in the dump and only 7% washed their hands. The study results suggest that the haphazard disposal of the wastes together with the inorganic and organic wastes from hospitals, discarded batteries, drugs and various other chemicals, pose biological, chemical and physical risks. The dumpsites’ hardships and hostile lifestyle pose psychosocial health risks while the strenuous nature of the work poses muscular skeletal problems. Health problems due to bioaccumulation may also arise among the recyclers or the public who eat the recycled foods. The findings of this study will be of value to the Ministry of Health and County Governments in their efforts to address the recycling industry and related health problems especially cancer and other risks to people who reside in and around dump sites. The Kenyan government can also be able to come up with a waste management policy focusing on recycling in line with the WHO Global Strategy for Occupational Health for all.
AfroAsia, R (2021). Occupation Health Risks Associated With Garbage Recycling At Dandora Dumpsite, Nairobi County, Kenya. Afribary.com: Retrieved June 14, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/occupation-health-risks-associated-with-garbage-recycling-at-dandora-dumpsite-nairobi-county-kenya
Research, AfroAsia. "Occupation Health Risks Associated With Garbage Recycling At Dandora Dumpsite, Nairobi County, Kenya" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 06 Jun. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/occupation-health-risks-associated-with-garbage-recycling-at-dandora-dumpsite-nairobi-county-kenya . Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.
Research, AfroAsia. "Occupation Health Risks Associated With Garbage Recycling At Dandora Dumpsite, Nairobi County, Kenya". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 06 Jun. 2021. Web. 14 Jun. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/occupation-health-risks-associated-with-garbage-recycling-at-dandora-dumpsite-nairobi-county-kenya >.
Research, AfroAsia. "Occupation Health Risks Associated With Garbage Recycling At Dandora Dumpsite, Nairobi County, Kenya" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed June 14, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/occupation-health-risks-associated-with-garbage-recycling-at-dandora-dumpsite-nairobi-county-kenya