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ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION PRACTICES IN NIGERIA
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- Name: ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION PRACTICES IN NIGERIA
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This study evaluated the sanitation facilities and services available in the city core areas with a view to identifying the different environmental sanitation behaviors emanating from the level of adequacies of these amenities. Ikorodu town in Lagos state was the focus of the study.
Data used for the study were collected from primary and secondary sources. Primary data collection was through questionnaire administration and observations made by the researcher. The questionnaires were administered using the systematic random sampling technique whereby every tenth house within central area of the town was selected for study. A respondent was sampled in each of the selected buildings. From the above, 218 houses were sampled altogether. Descriptive and inferential statistical tools were used for the study. The descriptive tools used include frequency tables, bar diagrams and line graphs while regression analysis and chi-square were used to make inferences.
The study established that the major land uses were commercial (49.5%) and residential (34.2%). The average monthly income in the area is approximately N15,000. The study also indicated that 46.8% of the residents had secondary school qualification while 17.9% had vocational training. The findings revealed that the use well water regularly represents
30.3 %. Respondents that use pipe-borne water regularly accounted for % while 8.7 % use stream water. It was established that only 56% of the buildings have kitchen facilities; 81.7 % have toilet facilities while 78 % have bathroom facilities. Buildings with soak away pit, septic tank, waste water pit and drainage were 43.1 %, 17.4 %, 34.4 % and 20.2 % respectively. It was also established the use of water closet gained highest prominence in the area. The finding also indicated that the waste storage receptacle mostly used in the area is the covered refuse bins representing 6 %. Solid waste disposal through PSP operators gained highest significance. The study established that 61 % of those who do not have adequate kitchen facilities manage the available space, 26 % cook in their rooms while 13 % cook on the corridor. Responses to inadequate sanitation amenities were not environmentally friendly. For instance, the study established that 47.4% of the residents without toilet facilities do throw their excreta in the drains while 65.5% of the households without waste water pits discharge their waste water on the street. The regression analysis showed that there is significant relationship between the socio-economic variables and the duration of drainage clearance. The R2 value of 57.3 % showed that the independent variables were able to explain 57.3 % of the total variation in drainage clearance in the area. Findings from the survey also showed that there is a relationship between the education of the respondents and the duration of waste storage before disposal. This assertion was confirmed by the chi-square value of 91.329.
The study concludes that the poor environmental sanitation conditions noted in the area were determined by the inadequate supply of amenities and resident’s response to the inadequacies.
A healthy living environment is sine-qua-non to national growth and development. Such condition can be achieved through an effective environmental sanitation practice.
Roland et al. (2004) noted that environmental sanitation ‘comprises the proper collection, transportation, disposal and treatment of human excreta, solid waste and waste water, control of disease vectors and provision of washing facilities for personal and domestic hygiene.’
Bindeshwar (1999) also viewed sanitation as ‘a basic condition for development.’ It is aimed at improving the quality of life of the individuals; contributes to social development and abatement of diseases. Sadalla et al (2001) noted that the environmental problems may be caused by inadequate provision of facilities and residents’ behaviour in communities
Despite its importance in human life, Mosleh Uddin and Sudhir (2005) observed that the provision of sanitation facilities and services is poor in developing countries. Roland et al (2004) added that a significant number of people in these countries ‘lack access to adequate water supply, environmental sanitation services and food security’. This, according to Bindeshwar (1999), contributes to the ‘death of millions of children below the age of five every year; and about 50 diseases are linked with poor sanitation’.
The negative environmental practices of individuals are also contributory to this menace. In fact, the provision of adequate sanitation facilities could at best be referred to as means to an end since the attitude and behavioural practices of the stakeholders determine the end. Public perception of the need for proper sanitation goes a long way in providing desired solutions that would mitigate the consequences. Generally, poor sanitation practices could result from overcrowding, inadequate facilities and amenities, low level of education and awareness on sanitation practices, low income level, unplanned housing development, among others.
Several studies have shown that problems of environmental sanitation are not limited to a particular residential zone. Such studies reveal that such problems occur in the traditional core areas, urban centres and peri- urban areas or suburbs. Studies based on the sanitation problems in the core areas include for example those on Lagos (Adedibu and Okekunle, 1989; Kenneth et al, 2003; and Afon, 2006); Ibadan (Egunjobi, 1989) in Nigeria. Such studies also exist outside Nigeria. These include those on Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and India (Bindeshwar, 1999 and Sabur, 2006); Bangladesh (Musleh Uddin and Sudhir, 2000); and Nakhon Pathon in Thailand (Lagho, 2001). None of these studies examined the relationship existing between the provisions of environmental sanitation facilities and the responses or behaviour due to the adequacy of facilities in core areas Ikorodu in Lagos state.
The core area of any settlement is the point of reception, the hub of activities and distribution of internal and external goods and services (Tanimowo, 2001). It is the point of major commercial and residential land uses. Consequently, core areas often have more facilities compared to other parts of their respective settlements. These facilities and services do attract people from other parts of the settlement. This results in overcrowding with the diverse negative effects. Olayiwola and Omisore (2001) and Nwaka (2005) observed that such effects include poor accessibility, high occupancy ratio, lack of proper drainage, inadequate infrastructure and social amenities, environmental pollution and poor sanitation.
Nwaka (2005) noted that residential neighbourhoods in the core areas are being developed without effective planning and adequate provision of basic services and facilities including transportation, health, employment, security and sanitation facilities. Other problems identified with these areas include overcrowding, inadequate provision of basic services and poor network of public transport modes. These features of the core areas aggravate the unwholesome living condition of the residents. Consequently, there are growing cases of water- borne and filth related diseases especially diarrhea, cholera and malaria (Roland et al, 2004). These contribute to loss of lives and man-hour which results to colossal loss to economic growth and development. The problems are worsened in developing countries like Nigeria, where there is inadequate health facilities to alleviate the problems (Nwaka, 2005). Of interest to the study is to provide answers to questions like: what are the sanitation facilities in the core areas? How do the residents respond to inadequacies in the provision of these facilities? What is the health implication of non-provision of these facilities?
Aim and Objectives of the Study
This study is aimed at evaluating the sanitation facilities and services available in the city core areas with a view to identifying the different environmental sanitation behaviours emanating from the level of adequacies of these amenities.
The objectives include to:
- identify the different sanitation facilities available in the area
- identify the various level of adequacies of the amenities
- examine the residents’ responses to the level of adequacies
- determine the environmental sanitation problems emanating from residents’
Justification of Study
The importance of clean environment to a healthy living condition for man cannot be over-emphasized. This has necessitated the need for effective and regular sanitation activities the world over. The provision of adequate sanitation facilities, urban infrastructure and enabling environmental sanitation policies influence the achievement of a high quality living condition for man and his environment.
There is already a growing concern by the government and the public on the environmental conditions and provision of sanitation facilities in the major cities of the world. This has necessitated the huge finances concentrated on the provision and improvement of sanitation facilities in these cities. This is not the case in core areas of the developing countries. The fact that these areas offer employment opportunities and offer cheapest housing especially to new migrants (Adedibu and Okekunle, 1989) has made them most overcrowded in the cities. Consequently, various environmental sanitation problems are often encountered in these areas (Egunjobi, 1989).