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Living with the Trash in Baguio City
Tragedies Happen.. But Still... they could have been avoided
It is true that tragedies happen every now and then. It could not be denied that along with the increase of modern living systems, the rate of tragedies happening around the globe also arise.
Just recently, typhoon Nanmadol [or typhoon Mina] has caused the Irisan dump site's wall to crumble down and kill at least six people, two of whom are young children ages six and eight. Those who were killed lived right within the territories of the dump site.
Operating in about several decades now, the dump site was said to have been in need of being shut down already. However, due to the lack of dumping site in the city, the dumping of trash in the area continued up until the day of the typhoon's attack in the country. Due to the unexpected effect of the strong water-flow from the rainfall, people were not warned to move away from any possible trash slides. Every one was given cue to take care of themselves especially at the occurrence of any landslides or falling electric lines due to strong winds, but there was no warning about the trash slide since it has not been anticipated.
The result of the lack of preparation amounted to devastating deaths and several homes buried under large amount of trash... but things could have been very different if....
...the city followed close observation of proper waste management....
It was the year 2009 when the "new" waste segregation law has been passed in the city which called upon the attention of the city-residents to segregate their trash between biodegradable and non-biodegradable. The first few weeks of implementation were successful however the following days have become less of an achievement. People became less enthusiastic about the process hence resulting to non-segregation and increased amount of waste that cannot be fully controlled by the government anymore.
Months later, it was as if the people have forgotten that a law on waste segregation ever existed. Many see the waste segregation practice as an added task that they cannot commit themselves to.
...they only had other places to live in...
the devastating smell from the dump site should have caused the people to understand that they should not live anywhere near the dump area. However, given the circumstances of being poor and having no own land to establish their own homes into, the victims chose to stay within the boundaries of the dump site. It has even been reported that the father of the three kids who died in the trash slide is currently held in prison for robbery. His mother, the children's grandmother, was the only one looking after the children. Sadly, the grandmother also died along with her grandchildren. Relatively, in third world countries like the Philippines, seeing people living in grave conditions such as living among the trash is a common situation that has already been accepted by the society.
True, while everything seems to advance so fast, people tend to remain contained in their own ways of simply "not caring" about others. If there are those who are able to create solutions, only a few follow them. Often times, tragedies such as this one could have been avoided if only the human society work together in a united hand for the sake of not only protecting themselves, but protecting everyone else along with the generations that shall follow their path.
Gladly, it is not yet too late to change....
....and change begins in each and everyone of us...