Liberian English translation, “Where do we put our trash?” A remarkable question and one we really didn’t appreciate fully prior to moving to Liberia and opening the clinic. Think about what you would do if no garbage truck rolled down your street to pick up your trash… ever!!! What would you do with the average 4.4 pounds per day [EPA] of rubbish you generate? It’s been a tough question to answer out in Po and even gets more complex when you throw medical waste into the equation. You definitely don’t want needles ending up in the ocean, animals eating medical waste or children playing with broken glass. Up to now we have been burning our paper and plastic, storing our medical sharps (needles) in special containers, burying some medical waste, and carrying our metal, glass and spent batteries back to Monrovia to dispose.
We are working on getting better in each area and are currently working on two projects based on recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO). The first of these projects is a large concrete incinerator to burn all of the solid and medical waste. The incinerator will burn the trash much more completely at a much higher temperature then just burning it on the ground. Incinerators reduce the solid mass of the original waste by 80–85% and the volume by 95–96%. The second project is a concrete placenta pit for the placenta (after-birth) after a baby is delivered. It is much better to put them in a protected pit where no one or no animal can get at it.
Both projects are scheduled for July completion. Here at the Po River Clinic we are doing our part to promote environmental as well as physical and spiritual health. 😉