The UN Environment authority on Saturday blamed indiscriminate dumping of waste in urban for disease outbreaks, environmental pollution and flooding.
Abdouraman Bary, Africa Office Regional Sub program Coordinator for Chemicals, Waste and Air Quality at the UN Environment, said the open burning of waste is also causing air pollution that impacts human health.
"We need to put in place measures to enable us grow a secondary resources economy through increased reuse, recycling and recovery of wastes leading to job creation and improved livelihoods," Bary said during the African major groups and stakeholder's forum at the UN Environment headquarters in Nairobi.
Bary disclosed that open burning of waste causes significant air pollution which impacts human health.
"It is unfortunate that there are high rate of illegal dumping, low waste collection coverage, limited household hazardous waste management systems and disposal of waste to uncontrolled dumpsites in the continent," he added.
Bary revealed that viable resources are being lost to the economy through dumping of waste polymer, fibre, metals and nutrients since only 4 percent of the waste generated in Africa is recycled, often by informal actors.
He told African governments to organize payment of services, collection of wastes and a shift to controlled disposal of waste through the elimination of uncontrolled dumpsites and open burning in the major cities.
He noted that it is unfortunate that Africa has become a dumping ground for waste, particularly hazardous waste from the developed countries.
The UN official suggested that the governments address current waste management challenges and to prepare for the expected growth in waste management in the coming years.