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DESIGN OF THE STUDY
Public sanitary facilities are crucial infrastructure necessary for the social well-being and practical operation of a city. The provision of public sanitary facilities has implications for public and individual health, transportation, crime preventions, urban design, economic and cultural development and social equity. Public Conveniences i.e. Toilets, Bathrooms, Urinals and Comfort rooms are provided largely in public places and institutions. These places include Markets, Motor Parks, Religious institutions, Mosques, Churches, Filling stations, Hospitals, Airports, Sporting grounds, Schools etc. The right of citizenship access to appropriate public toilets emerged in the west with the rise of modernity.
Prior to the period of enlightenment in Britain, urinating, and defecating was a public act, taking place not only in fields and gardens, but also in the streets. By the mid 19th century however, public toilets were built using the public purse to provide citizens the means to urinate or defecate in public while away from home. It is a long time however since Britain led the world with such public health foresight. In most African cities, public conveniences are lacking in terms of quality and quantity, thus residents and visitors are often left wondering where to "go". There is therefore a real quality of life crisis looming for all of us – especially the young and older members of society. There is a real concern about both the quantity and quality of public conveniences provision in Abuja and the associated problems this causes for the residents and visitors to the city.
Poor provision impacts increasingly on public health and environmental issues such as street cleanliness, social disorder and infections associated with poorly maintained, or nonexistent of public sanitary facilities. The provision of public conveniences is an important factor in delivering a people friendly environments for both residents and visitors; that is free from communicable diseases attributable to poor sanitation. This study tends to assess the provision of public sanitary facilities in Garki District of Abuja.
1.1 THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria is the fastest growing city in Africa. With a steady rise in population in the last 10 years, it has recorded an increasing growth due to some socio-economic and political developments. Commercial activities have grown and brought with it greater demand for more basic facilities and services. Facilities already in place are grossly inadequate or over stretched. These facilities include public toilets which are not only in disgusting state but their maintenance and adequacy have been put to question. The city’s administration has done little to address that problem. In the few public toilets (at the parks, markets or at neighborhood shopping complexes), the air is often so foul and wafts out into the surrounding neighborhoods.
In Garki, many public institutions like Schools, Civil Service Offices, Mosques, Churches and Private companies do not have functional and decent toilets. In some cases, the existing ones are either over stretched, too dirty or reserved for VIPs. As a planned new town, this situation is un-usual and raises questions regarding the quality of planning input in the preparation of the FCC master plan or shortcomings during its of implementation. This study examines the sanitary facilities available in public areas of Garki district with particular reference to distribution, adequacy, quality and
accessibility. The findings will be the basis for making recommendations towards improvement. Studies of public conveniences have been carried out for some cities in Nigeria. These include Danmati (1988) in Kano; Tanko (1997) in Kano; Oluwande (1978) on Nigeria; and Abba (2009) in Kano. The emphasis of such mainly on unplanned cities has been informative, but complimentary research is required of planned urban areas to ascertain whether situations are similar or otherwise. The findings will be useful for policy making towards improving sanitary condition in cities.
The aim of the research is to appraise the sanitary facilities in public areas of Garki District as a basis for identifying problems and making recommendations for improvement.
The aim would be achieved through the following objectives.
1. To review the concept of sanitation and sanitary facilities and the planning requirements for their provision.
2. To review distribution pattern of public sanitary facilities in Garki District.
3. Evaluation of available public sanitary facilities in Garki District, Abuja.
4. To identify and recommend possible solutions to these problems.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers Garki District as a case study with particular focus on public areas such as Markets, Motor parks, Religious institutions (i.e. Churches, Mosque) Commercial areas as well as recreational zones of the study area.
1.5 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY AREA
Abuja is located in the centre of Nigeria and has a land area of 8,000 square Kilometers. It is bounded on the north by Kaduna state, on the west by Niger state, on the east and south-east by Nasarawa state and on the south-west by Kogi state. It falls within latitude 7 45' and 7 39'. The present Suleja was formally known as Abuja, a sparsely populated town with a population of about 500,000 people; it was completely rural with little or no infrastructure until the enactment of Decree No. 6 of 1976.
Before the 1976 Decree, a committee ('The Aguda Panel')was commissioned to go round the country in search of a suitable location for the New Federal Capital with two major points of reference; a region that is sparsely populated and that is centrally located. And the region now known as Abuja met these requirements and hence became the recommended location for the New Federal Capital. The acceptance of the recommendation of the committee, led to the enactment of Decree No. 6, of 1976, the Federal Capital Territory Act, and this became the blueprint for the re-location of the new Federal Capital from Lagos to Abuja. The town originally known as Abuja was later renamed Suleja, while the name “Abuja” was reserved for the capital-to-be.
The 1979 master plan called for Abuja to be developed in four phases. It estimated a population of about 3 million by the year 2010 and a maximum population of 4 million well into the 21st century. Phase 1 was planned to provide space for 230,000 inhabitants across 4,000 hectares of land. Nearly the entire Phase 1 development has
been completed and it includes the following: the Central Business District, the Three Arms Zone (presidency, National Assembly and Supreme Court as well as the Maitama, Wuse, Garki and Asokoro residential and business districts. The Phase 1 area of the city is divided into five (5) districts. They are the Central area, Asokoro, Garki, Wuse and Maitama. There are also five districts in Phase 2(see Appendices). They are Kado, Durumi, Gudu, Utako and Jabi. And the Phase 3 districts are Mabuchi, Katampe, Wuye and Gwarimpa. There are also five suburban districts, which are Gwagwalada, Kubwa, Nyanya, Karu and Jukwoyi. Along the Airport Road on the approach to Abuja City are satellite towns, namely Lugbe, Chika, Kuchigworo and Pyakassa. Other satellite towns are Idu (the main industrial zone), Mpape, Karimu, Gwagwa, and Dei-Dei.
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