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 The paper examined the household waste management practice in zaria kaduna, Nigeria. Primary data were obtained through administration of structured questionnaires to a random size of population in the areas that have the highest heaps of solid waste on the major streets and open spaces. Oral interviews and field observations were also carried out for holistic and detail assessment of the environment. Secondary data were obtained from desk review method; information on environmental issues resulting from poor management of municipal solid waste were obtained from relevant literatures. The results of the findings clearly show that major streets, several open spaces and even water ways are been used as refuse dump sites. The composition of the household waste in the city is heterogeneous; it contained both biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials which are mostly e-wastes, plastic and polythene materials. The study also reveals that most of the refuse dumps are left unattended to for a long period. The study further shows that population growth and uncontrolled urban expansion are responsible for the continuous growth of these refuse heaps at the shoulders of the major streets, open spaces and water bodies. Therefore, the paper recommends that a strong legislation with severe sanction be put in place and they should be a continuous public enlightenment on the danger of municipal waste to the general public. It is also recommended that available market be created for these waste that can be recycled



A study of the environment on the cusp of the twenty-first century is an exciting endeavour as we attempt to move from confrontation to co-operative problem-solving and place the study of the environment on a sound scientific basis. At the dawn of creation there was a perfect balance between man and his environment. Due to human activities on earth the stable equilibrium between man and his environment was broken and hence the resultant environmental problems. As humans we are part of the environment and the way we interact with the environment influences the quality of our lives.

The daily activities of humans in order to obtain their basic needs and nutritional requirements to sustain a healthy life generate a lot of unwanted materials. Household wastes are defined as “the unwanted remains, residues, discarded materials or by-products which are no longer required by the initial user” (Nyang’echi, 1992). Household wastes are the by-products of human activities which include the processes of preparation, manufacture, packing, repacking, unpacking, and construction and renovation of structures. Household wastes fall under the following classes: domestic wastes, industrial wastes, street wastes, commercial wastes and hospital wastes.

Due to the rapid increase in population, movement of people to metropolitan areas and expansion in industries, much pressure has been placed on household waste management and the task of household waste management has become difficult. Volumes of household waste in towns will run in millions of tons and would accumulate if not collected. It is now an undebatable fact that for humans to safeguard, control and promote the environment there must be some appropriate facilities for household waste management. In the absence of such facilities solid domestic waste will pose a significant health menace.

Environmental sanitation is of grave concern to governments and policy makers in a bid to prevent disease occurrence. It is incumbent upon us then to act now to manage waste matter properly to avoid the occurrence or incidence of communicable diseases. Waste matter at different stages of decomposition is allowed to grow in size developing into hills and becoming an eyesore in the community with its associated stench.

There are no proper solid domestic waste management practices in some states including Kaduna state. Most states  predominantly practice crude dumping. People deliberately ignore dump sites dotted in the communities and throw household waste in the open spaces and gutters. Some people regrettably defecate into polyethylene bags and leave them as litter in the environment. Flies are attracted to them and may spread pathogens. Some influential people in the community attempt to liberate relatives and or acquaintances that have breached national sanitation laws from the grips of the law. Research indicates that pollution by man is increasing rapidly in many countries including Nigeria (Freedman, 1995).

Health and social side effects are equally as important as environmental impacts when considering Municipal Household waste Management (Gladding, 2002). For people in developing countries including Nigeria, bodily wellbeing is a far more pressing concern than the fact that open burning of solid domestic waste contributes to acid rain or global warming. Outrage over health issues of poor household waste management could therefore be a motivating factor towards more sustainable environmental practices, as suggested in Dryczek’s discourse (Dryczek, 2001) on green rationalism. Waste management plays an integral role in human activity. Not only does it involve rationale decision making about whether to bury, burn, recycle, or produce less waste, it must also consider impacts to health, society, and the environment. Assessing the benefits and costs of various household waste management policies and projects is complex because it involves numerous, interconnected economic, social, and biological components. The barriers to effective Municipal Household waste (MSW) management is not simply lack of policy but lack of infrastructure, education, social awareness of problems and solutions, and lack of institutions promoting sustainable actions. Barret and Sue (2001) assert that there is a pressing need to avoid or manage the damage that affects both people and natural ecosystems.


According to media reports and the State  Health Management Team (Kaduna state 2007 Annual Health Report), improper environmental sanitation and household waste management has been one of its major challenges over the years. The problem of domestic waste disposal such as broken ceramics, iced water sachets, plastics and the like has been of a major concern in the Kaduna state. Household wastes such as iced water sachets, empty metallic tins or cans, plastics and the like are scattered here and there in the communities. Like most other communities in Nigeria, surface dumps are located at the outskirts of most towns and villages in the Kaduna state and present unsightly scenes of heaped decomposed and semi-decomposed domestic wastes, pollute the environment and produce offensive odour. These heaps attract flies and other disease-vector organisms most of which cause serious health hazards to the environs and the populace themselves. The stench emanating from these heaps becomes a nuisance to human habitation. Leachate from the dumps pollutes water bodies with poisons and pathogens. In the Nigerian social settings, cleanliness is embraced as a virtue but most of the time the perception of cleanliness is restricted to one’s immediate environs with little care for what happens outside their households. The belief is that the state will take care of things hence one should not be bothered.

Moreover, sanitation and its related issues were seen as the preserve of the colonial administration that usually employed sanitary officers to take care of the environs (Kendie, 1999). To the ordinary Nigerian, waste management is simply a process of waste collection and disposal. Mothers mostly do the collection while disposal is the preserve of young girls in the household. This problem of poor environmental sanitation affects all community members especially children who suffer most in the event of disease outbreak.

waste is finally disposed of at a refuse dump at the outskirts of town or at a refuse dump somewhere in the community on the surface of the land. Water bodies get polluted giving rise to water-borne diseases like typhoid and cholera. Disease connected with poor sanitation, such as malaria, diarrhoea and intestinal worm infestations are very common. Flies, insects and some domestic animals are attracted to refuse dumps and bare decomposing bio-degradable household waste where they feed and or breed in large numbers. Because of inadequate resources – machinery or equipment and personnel, the problem of environmental sanitation persists. The State  Health Administration (DHA) is conscious of and acknowledges the fact that the state  has a major public health problem of solid domestic waste management that needs study and addressing.


As a consequence of improper household waste management in the Kaduna state, the inhabitants suffer from poor environmental sanitation related diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea, typhoid fever, worm infestation and others.

According to a media report (TV3 Nigeria, September 18, 2008), 70 % of ailments or diseases in Nigeria are sanitary related and diseases reported at the health facilities include diarrhoea, cholera, malaria, typhoid fever and buruli ulcer among others. Since most of the diseases reported at the health facilities are related to sanitation, it is appropriate for this study to be undertaken.

The study would present a comprehensive assessment of the methods of solid domestic waste management in the communities and appropriate recommendations for improving solid domestic waste management in the state could be made. The relevance of the appropriate recommendations and suggestions made in the research to the various officers of health and stakeholders will stimulate and encourage the policy makers at the State level to formulate comprehensive strategies to improve upon the current improper solid domestic waste management in the state  and beyond.


(1)             What methods of solid domestic waste management are in practice within the Kaduna state?

(2)             What factors contribute to improper solid domestic waste management?

(3)             What are the consequences of improper solid domestic waste management?

(4)             What suggestions could be offered to improve upon solid domestic waste management within Zaria in Kaduna state?


1.5.1 General Objective

(i)                To assess the solid domestic waste methods in zaria Kaduna state.

1.5.2 Specific Objectives

(i)                To outline the methods used to collect and transport solid domestic waste.

(ii)             To identify the factors contributing to improper solid domestic waste management.

(iii)           To elicit knowledge of respondents on the consequences of improper solid domestic waste management.

(iv)           To identify solid domestic waste disposal methods.

(v)             To bring out suggestions for improving solid domestic waste management.

(vi)           To make recommendations to all stakeholders as to how to improve upon solid domestic waste management.


The study focused on an assessment of the methods of solid domestic waste management in the state  and was limited to the collection, storage, transport and final disposal of solid domestic waste.


Chapter one contains background information of the study, statement of the problem, rationale of study, research questions, objectives and conceptual framework. Chapter two offers literature review. Chapter three contains information on study method and design, study population, sample size, study variables, sampling technique, profile of study area, data collection techniques and tools, data handling/analysis, pre-testing of questionnaire, ethical consideration, limitations of study and assumptions made. Chapter four presents the result and  discussion of results whilst chapter five contains conclusions and recommendations.

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