HEALTH ISSUE AMONG LANDFILL SCAVENGERSAT KAYU MADANG LANDFILL SITE, KOTA KINABALU, SABAH, MALAYSIA
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2021, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 456-469
AbstractWaste management system based on landfill is one of the most popular method used in Malaysia. Uncontrolled dumping of waste and the difficulties to find a new landfill area make recycling program as one way to solve the waste problem in urban areas.The existence of scavengers community in the landfill area has contributed significantly to the success of recycling program (Seow Ta Wee & Indera Syahrul Mat Radzuan, 2011). Thefactor for their involvement in the program is difficulties in getting employment in the urban area due to their education background. This study tries to answer the questions of what are the health issues faced by the scavengers in the study area and what protective equipment is used during scavenging? Therefore this study set the two main objectives : to identify the health issues faced among the scavengers and to identify the protective equipment used during scavenging. Observation and questionnaires were used to obtain the relevent data in order to answers the research questions. Observations and interviews were conducted on this study. The interviews were conducted for all scavengers on that day. A total of 39 respondents were interviewed during this study.The study revelead that landfill scavengers faced serious health problems due to their continous exposure to the landfill environment. This include direct exposure to landfill gaseous such as methane and carbon dioxide. Therefore this issue need to be addressed which is not in the attention of the authorities. Because of their status as illegal, there is no security act adopted in protecting the scavengers at the landfill. Scavengers contribution in reducing the amount of waste in landfills is significant. Therefore the government should focus on this community particularly provide the group with health care and also legal protection on their activity. Besides that, the local authority must consider the best method to protect this group from the deadly disease and to continue support their activities because this group could assist the local authorities in managing the landfill in more sustainable manner. This study could serve as a model for the national management of the landfill. By this, it is not only benefit the country but also the economic of the scavengers community.
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