AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE HEALTH IMPLICATION OF IMPROPER WASTE DISPOSAL AND REFUSE MANAGEMENT IN DAUDA COMMUNITY OF GUMA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BENUE STATE.
PUBLIC HEALTH PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS ON THE HEALTH IMPLICATION OF IMPROPER WASTE DISPOSAL AND REFUSE MANAGEMENT IN DAUDA COMMUNITY OF GUMA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF BENUE STATE.
1.1 Background of the study
The importance of living in a clean environment cannot be over-emphasized. Once an environment is free of indecent waste, its impact is usually seen in all aspects of life of individuals having contact with that environment. The need for effective management of solid waste is an issue that has required public health attention in various parts of the globe. It is of utmost importance to ensure that solid waste products are properly managed in order to prevent the occurrence of attendant problems associated with poor waste management including water contamination, air contamination, increased prevalence of vector-borne diseases, infection spread etc. Improper waste management methods have been shown to contribute to the decrease in the quality of health of a population as a result of environmental health nuisances that have arisen as a result of these poor waste management methods (Oyebode, 2013; Igbinomwanhia et al., 2014; Awajiogak, 2013). These waste products broadly called Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), includes effluents arising from agricultural, industrial, construction, mining and exploration or commercial activities which could be gaseous, solid, semi-solid or liquid in nature; garbage disposed at refuse dumps, abandoned non-functional cars/equipments and all other materials which are regarded as no longer useful. These waste products are however at certain times are not properly disposed or managed which in turn leads to the occurrence of environmental of environmental and public health challenges (Onwughara et al., 2010; Schübeler et al., 1996; Karija et al., 2013). Municipal solid waste management however remains a major environmental health challenge in Nigeria which has been attributed to indiscriminate roadside refuse disposal, open dumping of waste products, a massive unplanned urbanization trend and growth of the population, absence of actionable guidelines as regards refuse dumping and refuse dumpsites, inadequacy in funding, laxity in the practice of effective waste management as well as absence of organized waste management systems etc (Igbinomwanhia et al., 2014; Abah and Ohimain, 2010; Agwu, 2012). An assessment of the urban waste problem in Nigeria has revealed that Nigerian cities were among the dirtiest cities in the world and that over 80% of Nigerians use waste disposal methods that are not in line with World Health Organization standards (Federal Ministry of Environment, 2002). It is noteworthy to state that the government of Nigeria on its own part has played significant roles in ensuring that this menace is curbed through the enactment of regulations and legislations that ensure the practice of adequate waste management. This is however not enough on its own as the populace must also be educated on how best they can adhere to these laws as non-adherence not just only leads to facing penalties from environmental health agencies but can also lead to deterioration in health as well as deaths. This is an issue that must be addressed round the clock despite the many challenges being faced by the relevant waste management authorities. Environmental health education should be put into play, strict adherence and enforcement of environmental health laws and regulations, provision of adequate waste disposal methods for the populace, timely and proper waste management by relevant authorities, recycling of waste materials etc are some ways by which the prevailing occurrence of poor waste management can be tackled and thus providing a more healthy environment for labour and productivity (Onwughara et al., 2010; Karija et al., 2013; Owoeye and Okojie, 2013; Kafando et al., 2013). Seeing that effective and proper waste management practice is a problem that impacts on the health of individuals in Nigeria, it was necessary to carry this study to assess the waste disposal practices in Dauda community of Guma local government area of Benue State as it provided a framework for evaluation of waste management efforts and provided areas that needed further attention in order to ensure achievement of effective waste disposal and management in Benue State. The management of solid waste, perhaps, stands as the most visible environmental problem facing the Dauda community of Guma local government area of Benue State. The problem is growing daily as a result of increasing urbanization. The solid waste problem is visible in most parts of the communities within the Dauda community of Guma local government area of Benue State, on the roads, within the neighbourhoods and around residential buildings. The environment of man lies at the mercy of both natural disaster and negligence on the part of man in the course of controlling the gifts of nature. The later takes the form of dumping solid waste in an uncompromising pattern, that can cause; desert encroachment, erosion, depletion of ozone layer, depletion of natural resources, pollution of land, rivers, the air and generally the environment (Aguwanba,1998). According to Egunlobi (2004), in the early times (pre- colonial days) up till 1970s, the disposal of refuse and other waste did not pose any significant problem. The population was small and enough land was available for assimilation of waste. Solid waste problem started with urban growth, resulted partly from nationalincrease in population and more importantly from immigration. Ndakara (2011) also states that the quantity of such waste depends mainly on location, activity and number of people in the household. However, it was not until the mid- 19th century, spurred by increasingly devastating cholera outbreaks and the emergence of a public health debate that the first legislation on the issue emerged. Thus the social reformer, Sir, Edwin Chadwick’s 1842 report on “The Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population, became influential in securing the passage of the first legislation of waste clearance and disposal, in which he argues for the importance of adequate waste removal and management facilities to improve the health and wellbeing of the city’s population. (Barbalace, 2003). Early garbage removal trucks were simply open bodied dump trucks pulled by a team of horses. They became motorized in the early part of the 20th century and the first closed body trucks to eliminate odours with a dumping lever mechanism were introduced in the 1920s in Britain. These were soon equipped with “hopper mechanisms” where the scooper was loaded at floor level and then hoisted mechanically to deposit the waste in the truck. The Garwood Load Packer was the first truck in 1938, to incorporate a hydraulic compactor (Herbert, 2007). Mba (2003), noted that no town in Nigeria especially the urban and semi- urban centres of high population density can boast of having found a lasting solution to the problem of filth and huge piles of solid waste, rather the problem continues to assume monstrous dimensions. To urban and city dwellers, public hygiene starts and ends within their immediate surrounding and indeed the city would, take care of itself. The situation has so deteriorated that today the problem of solid waste management has become one of the nation’s most serious environmental problem (Okpala, 2002). Ineffective waste management could rubbish all the resources and efforts put in beautifying the environment. Every year, the government of Nigeria, Bayelsa state inclusive spends billions of naira to roll back malaria, without focusing on some environmental factors such as poor waste management that makes malaria to thrive. Blocked drains provide stagnant water which facilitates the breeding of mosquitoes and other sickness causing germs (Ogadimma, 2011).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The problem of ineffective and inadequate Waste management is a major problem to our society and the world at large, this is because improper waste management has led to the outspread of various diseases and health and environmental hazard.
- Generation of toxic air and water pollutants, along with mountains of solid and hazardous wastes, which is becoming an overwhelming problem in Dauda community of Guma local government area of Benue State.
- Strong possibility of a situation where failure to decide where to put waste or how to dispose them safely will lead to the close down of some industries and result in waste being spread everywhere
- The health effects of pollution, toxic waste and other environmental ills of modern society becomes a greater threat to man than diseases.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine the health implication of improper waste disposal and refuse management in Dauda community of Guma local government area of Benue State. Specifically it seeks to:
- Examine the effectiveness of waste management in Dauda community.
- Examine how proper waste management can prevent disease and sustain healthy environment.
- To ascertain how effectively waste disposal is managed in Dauda community
- To evaluate the consequences of improper waste management in Dauda community.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following questions shall be answered in the course of this essay.
- To what extent is the effectiveness of waste management in Dauda community?
- Does proper waste management prevent disease and sustain healthy environment?
- Is waste disposal effectively managed in Dauda community?
- What are the consequences of improper waste management in Dauda community?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
When Dauda community was created, it became obvious from inception that the fledgling community will face great challenges on its path to attaining the growth and development that autonomy had bestowed on her. The challenges of waste disposal being experienced in the community is on the increase and at a very fast rate, upon this ills this research finds its significance. This study will be of great benefit to the community members, since it is imperative that issues of waste management be tackled from the community level. The result of researches will enable the society to know the impact of sanitation and embark on it, for health care.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study covers the health implication of improper waste disposal and refuses management in Dauda community of Guma local government area of Benue State. However the study has some limitation which ranges from:
Finance: finance is a major limitation to the study as resources allocated to the study is limited
Time: time is a major constrain to the research as time allocated to the study is very limited
Research material: availability of research material is a major set back to the scope of the study
1.7 DEFINATION OF TERMS
Waste and wastes are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or it is worthless, defective and of no use.
Domestic waste disposal
This is any material lacking directive value to people of Dauda community and so must be disposed of.
A change produces through domestic waste disposal from Dauda community
Waste management: The collection, transportation, and disposal of garbage, sewage, and other waste products.
Environmental management: This is the combination of all actions taken to reduce the impact of human activities on the environment; such actions are specifically geared towards sustainable development.
ENVIRONMENT: Is the conditions that surround the people of Duada community which influences the growth, health, progress, etc., of these people.