By Vivek Kumar Ojha
Since, I am staying in Yemen from last week, it’s my pleasure to completely enjoy the climate of Sana’a to Aden via Ibb, Taiz and Lahj. This journey will be memorable from all walks of life due to charming [scene of] natural beauty and temporal changes of weather with terrain at different altitude and longitude logged in my heart. However
I have observed that huge amount of colourful material was stuck with herb (small tree) and was facing resistance with blowing air in their parallel direction.
This process was continuing from the beginning and ending of each local market like they want to reflect the sign of welcome for the entrance and thanking for visit. Again, diversity in sense of topography, weather, terrain and anthropogenic development was joyful but I noticed that singular item which not diverse at any strata is famous chewing herbal item known as Qat; which play role as a backbone of Yemen in different scenario like employment, farming, business and more importantly that it keep/maintains the bond of tradition more strongly. The colourful package for carrying this material is plastic, which is non-biodegradable in nature and responsible for deteriorating the environment in different aspects. The exact quantification about their amount is difficult to access but I suspect that their contribution will be 65-70 % of generated waste of Yemen. Due to attributes like easy availability, light weight, impermeability and low price make their uses as a frequent carrying material. The low density of this item keeps it always in dynamic condition through providing ambient air as an external force. I have noticed that the existing lifestyle of Yemini, in their daily necessities, surcharges the volume of polyethylene in discrete manner by carrying Qat, drinking water in the plastic bottles, replacement of table cover while dining and other miscellaneous items mainly due to unawareness about their unseen effect. Directly or indirectly it has become harmful to soil properties, plants, drainage pattern, sanitation system and other nearby environment. Open burning definitely can reduce their volume up to a large extent but its fume will badly contaminate the nearby environment, which is unacceptable. Hence, there is the requirement to manage this waste scientifically by good management practices. Recently, extraction of liquid fuel has become more common practice in most of the places but as an Environmentalist I will suggest that the reduction in their usages at source level is a better option for sustainable and ecofriendly development of Yemen. Besides, the existing polyethylene can be utilized scientifically as a resource in toy making, sole making for shoes and other durable hard plastic materials. In another perspective, the frugal distribution of these plastic can also be absorbed in the road construction and their improvement which is chronological transport facility for this country.