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Video: AJ 101 East

Asia’s pandemic waste emergency

Mountains of medical waste are growing in some of Southeast Asia’s largest cities, overwhelming countries that are ill-equipped to dispose of the thousands of tonnes of items used to fight the pandemic.

In Cambodia, workers have scant protection as they sort through used syringes, gloves and bandages before incinerating them.

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, needles and medical bottles are being dumped in landfill as medical clinics struggle to dispose of their waste.

In a collaborative project supported by JNI, investigative reporters from Al Jazeera’s 101 East program have worked with local researchers in Cambodia and Indonesia to examine this medical waste disaster — tracking what happens to the thousands of tonnes of medical equipment and personal protective gear that gets discarded each day.

Read more from the project

Journalists in several countries contributed to the 101 East documentary and have have published follow-up stories in English, Khmer and Bahasa Indonesia. These include:

Al Jazeera 

The Australian Financial Review

Cambodianess

Thmey Thmey (Khmer)

Tirto.ID (Bahasa Indonesia)

Al Jazeera

About the project

Investigative reporters from Al Jazeera's flagship Asia-Pacific current affairs program, 101 East, have worked with local journalists to track the thousands of tonnes of medical waste being dumped in the region.