WITH the observance of Eidul Azha, questions of hygienic removal of animal waste after the sacrifice in Pakistan also arise, as solid waste disposal, especially in urban parts of the country, is problematic. In most cities, animals are slaughtered and their remains are left to rot on streets and garbage heaps, unless proficient local government agencies move in quickly to clean up.

In Karachi, the nation’s biggest city, over the past few years there have been mixed results where removal of sacrificial animals’ offal is concerned. During the Musharraf era, local governments acted relatively quickly before the rotting remains created serious health hazards. However, after this LG system was wrapped up service delivery has deteriorated steadily, with offal being picked up in some locations, while in others it is left to rot for days on end.

Editorial: Hide collection and offal

While the municipal organisations cannot be let off the hook for lack of performance in this regard, most people also display a distinct aversion to civic sense. For example, after the sacrifice on the roadside or outside homes, the least people can do is to make an effort and dump the entrails in designated areas where the municipal authorities can easily cart it away. Perhaps the most ideal option would be to slaughter animals in designated locations, helping ensure a hygienic and mess-free sacrifice. But old habits die hard and the state as well as religious and community leaders will have to encourage this trend.

As mentioned above, the solid waste disposal system in most Pakistani cities, particularly Karachi, leaves much to be desired. However, when it comes to Eidul Azha, when large quantities of animal waste are left in open spaces, the need to clean up quickly to prevent health hazards is particularly acute. Moreover, the threat of bird strike also exists, as avian scavengers scoop down for the ‘goodies’, creating hazards for aircraft. Therefore, local bodies across the country will need to be on their toes to ensure a safe and hygienic sacrifice.

Published in Dawn, July 21st, 2021

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