University of Twente Student Theses


Impact of solid waste and the health effects during extreme floods. A case study from Kerala (India)

Mishra, Abhishek (2022) Impact of solid waste and the health effects during extreme floods. A case study from Kerala (India).

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Abstract:Disasters are an increasingly common phenomena in today’s world, which urge society for the strengthening of disaster management systems. The disaster management cycle (DMC) is represented by four main stages, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. This thesis deals with the fourth stage of DMC “recovery” in which solid waste management (SWM) and its health impacts are considered. Waste management is the core process during the recovery phase that focuses on collection, segregation, cleaning, transportation, recycling, reuse, and dumping. Volumes of waste that are generated by a disaster on an average are 5 to 15 times more than regular annual waste collected in the normal times. Proper management of this waste becomes a challenge because of large volumes of waste spread all over and its poor management leads to severe impacts on human health and the environment. There is still limited literature available on the development of disaster waste management. The main objective of the research is to analyse the impact of solid waste produced during extreme floods through a forensic analysis of the types, volumes, and health impacts of the waste produced during the 2018 floods in Kerala, India, and the development of a working framework for flood waste management. To achieve this objective information was collected in form of primary data, for which target groups such as, Kudumbashree, 1 Sanitation workers 2 , and volunteers 3were surveyed and health officials, disaster manager and local authorities were interviewed followed by open discussions. The research is developed in four parts. The first part is to analyse the solid waste produced in the 2018 Kerala floods and the second part post-flood solid waste management and its resulting health impacts. I have analysed data collected during a field survey, written interviews, and open discussion in three settlements that are characteristics for different geographical units (upland, midland, and lowland) located in the Pamba basin, in Kerala, India. In these two parts the research deals with the types of waste, sources of waste, the quantification of waste, health effects, health literacy, and waste management by the local administrations. The third part of the thesis focuses on the wicked problem of lack of waste collection sites and aims to provide a solution to the problem by analysing, potentially suitable waste collection sites using spatial multi-criteria evaluation (SMCE). The fourth part of the thesis is to develop a post-flood waste management working framework, and the framework has been developed with the support of the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA). This framework developed in the research is the first draft and still needs to be developed further, to serve the purpose of the thesis the first draft was developed based on the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP), Disaster management guidelines, shortcomings of the 2018 Kerala floods waste management and with the input of stakeholder’s expertise and involved in 2018 Kerala post flood waste management.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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