WASTE DISPOSAL SYSTEM IN LAGOS: A MODERN SYSTEM OF GARBAGE DUMPING/DISPOSAL

WASTE DISPOSAL SYSTEM IN LAGOS: A MODERN SYSTEM OF GARBAGE DUMPING/DISPOSAL

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to Study

Lane and Peto (1995) and Williams (1995) assert that the historical development of waste treatment and disposal has been motivated by concern for public health. The industrial revolution between 1750 and 1850 led to many people moving from rural areas to the cities, a massive expansion of the population living in towns and cities, and a consequent increase in the volume of waste arising. The increase in production of domestic waste was merged by increases in industrial waste from the burgeoning new life scale manufacturing processes. The waste generated contained a range of materials such as broken glass, raw steel metal, food residue and human waste, and was dangerous to human health. In addition, it attracted flies, rats and other vermin, which in turn posed potential threat through the transfer of diseases. This leads to an increasing awareness of the link between public health and the environment.

In order to deal with these potential threats to human health, legislation was introduced on a local and national basis in many countries. For instance in the united kingdom throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century, a series of Nuisance Removal and Desist Prevention Acts were introduced which empowered local authorities to set up teams of inspectors to deal with offensive traits and control pollution within city limits. In the United States of America, early legislature included the 1795 law introduced by the corporation of Georgetown, Washington, DC, which prohibited waste disposal on the streets and introduced the requirement for individuals to remove waste themselves or hire private contractors. By 1856, Washington had a city- wide waste collection system supported by taxes. By 1915, 50% of all major US cities provided a waste collection system, and this figure has risen to 100% by 1930{NEAL AND SCHUBUL 1987: McBean et al 1995}. This trend spread to other part of the world particularly the developed world.

Following the 2nd world war waste treatment and disposal was not seen as a priority environmental issue by the general public and legislature, and little was done to regulate the disposal of waste. But, a series of incidents in the late 1960’s and 1970’s alighted waste as a potential major source of environmental pollution. Then series of toxic chemical waste dumping incidents led to increasing awareness of the importance of waste management and the need for a more stringent legislative control of waste. Today in UK, USA, and Australia and even in South Africa majority of waste is disposed of in land fill sites. The modern sites are well designed, constructed and managed, and many have energy recovery utilisation of the derived land fill gas. While land fill remains the major option for waste disposal in the UK, and some parts of USA and Canada, increasing regulation has placed tighter controls on leachate and land fill gas treatment, monitoring and care after site, with a consequent increase in disposal costs. Other new developments in land fill design and operation have resulted in the concept of the flushing bio reactor land fill, which circulates the leachate to increase the rate of waste degradation. The combustion of land fill gas to produce energy in the form of elasticity or power generation or district heating has now become the norm for modern land fill. Incineration has either been in decrease as a waste disposal option. But recently, incinerators have been constructed, are under construction or in the planning stage. The incineration of waste with energy recovery fear either elasticity generation or district heating has beendeveloped in the 1990‟s to become an economic viability comparable to land fill. Several industrial waste, sewage sludge and clinical waste incinerator projects were initiated during the 1980‟s and 1990‟s. These incinerators tend to have smaller through puts of waste, and because of the higher cost of disposal of these types of waste are cost effective compared with other forms of disposal. In many cases, the type of waste indicates that incineration is not only the most economic option, but also the best practicable environmental option.

Incidentally, the schemes for mere collection, evacuation and disposal of wastes have not been sufficient, realistic or effective in most cities and towns particularly of the Third World Countries, (Uchegbu, 1998 and Pamham and Rispin 2001). Thus, the entire landscape is fast becoming refuse web and the situations are getting worse by the day (Wilikin, 2002): Wastes are often widely indiscriminately dumped on virtually every available space in residential neighbourhood, along streets and roads, on highways, beside and around houses, markets, hospitals, schools and offices, etc. It is attempt to be modest that made a few individuals and organisations gather wastes in their compounds and around their premises and commission registered Waste Disposal Companies to collect and dump in the landfills. Some of such landfills in Lagos Metropolis are at Ojota, LASU Road, Oke-Ode, and Oke-Afa.

Generally for Nigeria, as far back as 1989, Onibokun asserts that 35% of Ibadan metropolitan household, 33% of Kaduna city and 44% of Enugu built-up areas lack access to waste collection and management machineries. 20 years after, the situations seemingly appear to remain the same and even worse in the cities and towns of the country, (Olumide, 2008).

1.2     Statement of Problem

There have not been exhaustive works on Waste Disposal Systems and Waste Management in Nigeria generally and different parts of the country in particular. Bako et al (2007) recently worked on Air Pollution and Climate Change in Nigeria. It is with particular emphasis on pollutions resulting from Wastes. Ogunleye (2007) writes on Urban Solid Waste Management and Recycling for Cultivation and Implications and Challenges for Urban Planners. Their works merely quantify and qualify wastes and pollution and their effects in different parts of the country and for different Land Use. Specifically, Bello (2007) writes on “The Effects of Ojota Waste Dump on the Surrounding Property Values.” The work is from the perspective of Estate Valuer. It is restricted to the effect of burning, the subsequent smokes and obnoxious odours on the values of property within the vicinity. Aderogba (In Print) worked on Ojota Dump, but the entire Lagos Metropolis needs to be examined. Many areas are still of great concern, (Ogunnowo and Aderogba, 2007 and Bello, 2005). None of the works dwell into details of the composition of the wastes and the holistic effects on human, materials, plants and the general environment in order to be able to appropriately deduce the solutions to the challenges posed.

Therefore, this work focuses on Selected Dumps across the Metropolis. It aims at tracing the history of the sites, the composition of the wastes, size of the Dumps, and suggest alternatives to the existing Dumps and the methods of management.

1.3     Research Objectives

The aim of this study generally will be to investigate the waste disposal systems in Lagos State, the actual problems militating against effective and efficient waste management in Lagos State and as well provide solutions, insights and possible ways, by enlightening and empowering the stakeholders in the waste management sphere, of surmounting the quagmire.

The specific objectives of the study are to:

1.       Investigate the waste disposal systems in Lagos State.

2.       Investigate the efficiency of concerned authorities in provision and maintenance of waste disposal systems in Lagos.

3.       Verify the impact of people’s attitudes towards the concerned Authority’s mandate ofmaintaining a clean environment.

4.       Find out the impact of monitoring and control on the management of waste in Lagos State.

1.4     Research Questions

1.       What are the availablewaste disposal systems in Lagos State?

2.       How efficient are concerned authorities in provision and maintenance of waste disposal systems in Lagos?

3.       What is the impact of people’s attitudes towards the concerned Authority’s mandate ofmaintaining a clean environment?

4.       What is the impact of monitoring and control on the management of waste in Lagos State?

1.5     Significance of the Study

Apart from the various diseases and toxic conditions inherent in and derivable from the indiscriminate disposal and dumping of wastes; which has become a common practice in Lagos state, the presence of waste degenerates the aesthetic value of the environment. The findings of this study will contribute it quota in the quest to making Lagos one of the cleanest 21st century city in the world. When this is achieved, the aesthetic attraction of the state will begin to boost her tourist industry, which is a source of revenue to the government and a job creator for her masses. Again, if the recommendations and suggestions of this study will be sincerely and adherently pursued, it will reduce, to the barest minimum, the adverse effect of such diseases like Malaria, diarrhoea, cough, catarrh, cold, and fever. This will in turn cut down on the high rate of infant mortality and pregnant women mortality. Also, the money being spent by individuals/families on treating patience of waste induced diseases will be channelled to some other needs of theirs.

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.

1.6     Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study is restricted to Lagosstate, and seeks to investigate the waste disposal systems in Lagos State. The study is affected by lack of time, material, and money resources to see to the whole of the State.


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