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Project topic for Environmental Studies department.



1.1      Background of the Study

Refuse generation started with the history of man and gained more attention when man began to live in communities. During the 1st century with industrial revolution rapid population, growth in the develop world and the volume of waste produce was relatively small. Today in developing nations, like, Nigeria, solid waste accumulates in every city causing serious health and environmental hazard.

Solid wastes are unwanted materials that cannot flow directly into steams or rise immediately in the air. They are non-liquid, non-gaseous residues of manufacturing, construction, cooking, recreation, agriculture and other activities that use and then discard materials. They include glasses, bottles, outdated newspapers, carton, plastic, bottles, abandoned automobiles and automobiles parts, discarded cooking utensils, wraps, dead animals etc.

The challenges of solid waste management in most developing and under developed countries, has increased in recent times due to increase in population, industrialization, urbanization and globalization, (Tchobanoglous and Kreith, 2002;Butu 2013, Samah et al, 2013). In an attempt to accelerate the pace of its industrial development, an economically developing nation may fail to pay adequate attention to solid waste management. Most developing countries spend huge amounts of financial resources on certain solid waste management aspects which do not necessarily lead to improvements in the quality of service. This trend is as a result of the consistent growth in the amount of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), which is one of the main consequences of urban lifestyle (World Bank, 2012).

According to Ogwueleka (2009), "the whole process of collecting, transferring, treating, recycling, recovering resources and disposing solid waste in metropolitan areas are referred to as the 7 Municipal Solid Waste Management MSWM system. It is thus necessary for wastes to be managed properly and disposed in the most acceptable manner so as to reduce its resultant effect on humans, plants, animals and the environment (Anijiofor et al, 2013). Indiscriminate habit of dumping solid wastes along major high­ways in temporary dumpsites is a recurrent sight within municipalities in Nigeria. In some parts of Nigeria, it is common to see refuse being dumped along major roads and highways constituting a nuisance in those locations. This has become an eyesore as major streets have been turned into refuse dumps with ugly mountains of waste causing serious traffic problems. Aside the aesthetic issues caused by these improper disposal methods, the health and environmental implications cannot be ignored. Due to the action of rain water, some of the wastes from the dump and up in river thus increasing the health risk for surrounding communities who may be using the water for multiple purposes.

The dumpsites are ideal breeding ground for disease vectors such as rats and mosquitoes which present serious health issues to nearby household, residents. Such unsanitary environment is a predisposing factor for the spread of diseases/infections such as malaria, dengue fever, .typhoid, tetanus, cholera, eczema and dysentery. Consequently, Enugu State, through the Enugu State Waste Management Authority, "(ESWMA)" an initiative for transforming the Waste Management and other related sectors has attempted to keep Enugu of its glory. According to Babayemi and Dauda 2009, dumping sites, incineration, recycling, composting and so on, are some of the disposal methods that have been in use for many years. However, Igbinomwanhia, (2011), stated that dumping of solid waste in highly inappropriate places like middle of roads and unauthorized places are common practices in most developing countries and Pukkalanun et al, (2013), further buttressed that such indiscriminate dumping leads to the generation of leachates as a result of rainfall which are washed off into water bodies resulting in pollution and other environmental risks. Since waste collection rate at most urban centres are slightly above average, the situation and even worse in most rural areas (Hamatschek 2010), and the consequences of such actions is dumping of refuse on streets and drains. Studies have shown that a high percentage of those living near disposal sites and of workers who handle refuse are usually infected with gastrointestinal parasites, worms, and other related organisms as a result of contamination of subsurface water by the leachate from solid wastes, which contain toxic chemicals and pathogenic organisms. Furthermore., Wilson etal., (2005) and Mangisvo (2010), have stated in their works that people especially women and children from under-developed countries make a living through salvaging recoverable materials from waste disposal sites with bare hands and no form of protection. They are exposed to toxic materials as well as needles, bandages, and other refuse from hospitals, which expose them to diseases, such as HIV and AIDS, and hepatitis. Furthermore, greenhouse gases (GHG) are emitted from these dumps into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change, which is another issue of serious concern.

Recently in major streets in Enugu metropolis, it is hard to see streets that are free from refuse taking a walk around such areas. It is rare for one to breath in clean air. The way waste is being managed in Enugu is really alarming as it is left on roadsides, markets and in other public places which when decayed produce awful  odour. Domestic and commercial activities are what generate most of the refuse which are thrown away because it is needless (Okecha, 2000).

In response to this problem, and other emerging environmental challenges, the Federal Government of Nigeria enacted the National Policy on Environment (1909) and the National Environmental Sanitation policy (2006) as the key policy documents guiding environmental management and protection.

However, solid waste management problems have become a major concern in an industrialized developing country such as Nigeria and Enugu in particular considering the high growth rate of population and industrialization in the city. It is in this regard that this study seeks to examine the effect of refuse disposal on human health in Enugu metropolis.

1.2      Statement of the Problem

The rapid growth in urban population in Nigeria has far-reaching implications for waste generation and management. In 1983, the total volume of solid waste generation in Nigeria cities was about a million tones and it was projected to about 15 million tons by the year 2000 (Uwadiegwu, & Chukwu, 2015). As at present, there are fears about the capability of urban administration to cope with the efficient management of solid waste.

According to Ogawa in Elekwa (2016), environmental and waste management problen are caused by lack of technical, financial, institutional, social economic factors. He opined that these hinder the effective solid waste management in most Nigerian cities including Enugu metropolis. Similarly, the non implementation of development policies and poor enforcement of sanitation legislations by the agencies concerned may be affecting effective management of solid waste in Enugu metropolis. Proper solid waste collection is important for the protection of public health, safety, and environmental quality. It is a labour-intensive activity, accounting for approximately three quarters of the total cost of solid-waste management.

The area that is more susceptible to the endemic problem is Abakpa Nike area of Enugu metropolis owing to the highly populated nature of the area. Some people who were recently arranged in the environmental court for waste disposal related offences claimed to lack knowledge of where and how to properly dispose or manage their wastes.

The proliferation of mosquitoes bites, odour from decaying substances are dangerous to the health of the people. The situation of waste disposal method in some of the Enugu town especially Abakpa is alarming as wastes litter all nook and cranny of the place. From the above stated problems of solid waste management, it is expedient to evaluate the problems of solid waste management in Enugu metropolis so as to provide a more efficient solid waste management system.

1.3     Aim and Objectives of the Study

This study aims at evaluating the problems of waste management in Nigeria with focus on Abakpa Nike Enugu. The specific objectives include:

To examine the nature of effects of poor waste management on human health in Abakpa Nike Enugu.

To find out the level of awareness by inhabitants of Abakpa Nike Enugu on the implications of poor waste management.

To ascertain the effectiveness of waste management practices in Abakpa Nike Enugu.

To recommend possible solutions to the problems of solid waste management Abakpa Nike in Enugu.

1.4      Research Questions

In an attempt to identify the approaches and problems of poor solid waste management strategy; the following research questions were formulated.

  • What is the nature of effects of poor waste management on human health in Abakpa Nike Enugu?
  • What is the level of awareness by inhabitants of Abakpa Nike Enugu on the implications of poor waste management?
  • How effective are the waste management practices in Abakpa Nike Enugu?
  • What are the possible solutions to the problems of solid waste management Abakpa Nike in Enugu?

1.5      Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses are formulated for the study:

Hypothesis One                                                s

Ho: Poor solid waste management has negative effects on human health in Abakpa Nike Enugu.

H1: Poor solid waste management has positive effects on human health in Abakpa Nike Enugu.

Hypothesis Two

Ho: Waste management practices in Abakpa Nike Enugu are not effective in sustaining a healthy environment.

H2: Waste management practices in Abakpa Nike Enugu are very effective in sustaining a healthy environment.

1.6     Significance of the Study

This study will avail the government and non-governmental organization (NGO) and faith base organization (religious group) the ample opportunity to understand the problems of solid waste in human health at Abakpa, Enugu metropolis. The study shall be of enormous benefit to other resources who may find it interesting in- conducting further studies on the area under study.

Academically, findings of this study will serve as a platform for other research works and add to knowledge of scholars/academicians whom will in turn impact on the students and future assignments of state or national course.

To the residents of Enugu State as well, the findings and recommendations of this work will assist in transforming their negatively perceived attitudes towards solid waste disposal, waste management authority and its agents.

1.7      Operational Definition of Terms

Environment: the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.

ESWAMA: Enugu State waste Management Agency

Resident: a person who lives somewhere permanently or on long term basis.

Perception: the way in which something is regarded, understood or interprets.

Health: a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Solid waste: Are the useless and unwanted products in the solid state derived from household and Agricultural activities.

Solid Waste Disposal: This is the proper disposal of solid wastes in order to avoid nuisance using different procedural approach

Waste: This refers to unwanted or unusable materials, substances or by-products.

Waste Management: This is a planned system of effectively controlling the production, storage, collection, transportation, processing and disposal or utilization of wastes in a sanitary, aesthetically, friendly acceptable and economic manner.

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