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Bengaluru’s waste crisis threatens livelihoods: NGO

The contamination from the landfill and use of pesticides/fertilisers has also affected the health of the livestock which feed on grasses growing around it.
Last Updated : 26 December 2023, 23:31 IST
Last Updated : 26 December 2023, 23:31 IST

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Bengaluru: Bengaluru’s garbage has led to water insecurity while the leachate has contaminated the soil, affecting the food systems worsened by the increased use of agrochemicals, a public consultation of farmers in Mavallipura by the Environment Support Group (ESG) has found.

The exercise is part of a series of consultations with farmers, senior citizens, sex workers and other vulnerable groups held by ESG to understand the impact of climate change on the life and livelihood of the public.

In Mavallipura and surrounding areas where most of the residents are predominantly agriculturists and pastoralists, the landfill’s “toxic outflows on the soil and water” have hit the livelihoods. The contamination from the landfill and use of pesticides/fertilisers has also affected the health of the livestock which feed on grasses growing around it.

The report noted that the region falls in Zone 1 of the catchment area of the TG Halli Reservoir and Arkavathi River, a major tributary of the Cauvery River.

“If (the zone) is not protected, the city would be risking water security. This in the context of climate change would be disastrous as the city has no water resources closeby,” it said.

Senior citizens said health impact was a major threat posed by climate change. They listed loss of tree cover, severe pollution of stormwater drains, abnormal rainfall patterns, increase in noise and air pollution and disappearance of mist in their neighbourhoods as noticeable factors that were worsening life.

They suggested planting of trees, protection of parks and open spaces and installation of primary healthcare facilities at the ward level and inclusive urban planning as some of the measures to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change.

Sex workers said that irregular weather has affected their livelihood while access to basic amenities like clean water was difficult in low-income neighbourhoods.

ESG said the consultations were part of an effort to create vulnerability maps for each zone of the city and a series of consultations with marginalised groups, ward committee members, academia, public officials, and civil society.

“The map and the outcomes of these participatory consultations will be incorporated into a handbook which will facilitate every ward in the city to create a socially inclusive ward-level climate action plan, and ultimately a Bengaluru Climate Action Plan,” it said.

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Published 26 December 2023, 23:31 IST

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