In Bhopal, an Indian city with a warm, humid climate, piles of waste can be seen on almost every street corner. Every day, around 800 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste are generated there. A large portion of it ends up in the enormous Bhanpur landfill, a 40-year-old dumpsite located right in the middle of Bhopal.
“The Bhanpur dumpsite is a burning issue and it requires immediate intervention,” said Pryianka Das, Commissioner of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation.
When it rains – and during the monsoon season it rains a lot – run-off from the landfill contaminates the water supply of around two million people. Not only are the numbers of bacteria found in the water astronomic, but there are also high amounts of iron, lead, calcium and magnesium which can cause cancer and other serious health issues.
“The local government tried to intervene and launched proposals for the private sector. No companies showed interest in managing the waste because the risks were too high,” said Mark Draeck, UNIDO Industrial Development Officer.