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Background of the Study
Solid wastes comprise all the organic and inorganic waste materials that are normally non free flowing produced as a result of human and animal activities and have lost their value to the user, hence discarded as useless or unwanted (Chidi, 2012). Discarding the waste generated by the daily activities is very important in order to minimize the risk to the environmental degradation, human and animal health (Mahar et al 2007). Inadequate collection and improper disposal of solid wastes facilitates multiplication of pathogens causing diseases like cholera and diarrhea and provides good breeding site for disease vectors like mosquitoes (malaria), flies (diarrhea) and rodents (Kassim, 2010). Dumpsites are good sources of environmental pollution (polluting soil, ground and surface water) due to the fact that they usually contain almost all types of pollutants from the initial collection sources. The microbes that can be found in the solid wastes may range from bacteria, fungi, algae to protozoan whereby bacteria taking the lead. Bacteria play a great role in decomposing the solid wastes into simple and useful compounds important for soil heath and survival of plants when using them for their own metabolism (Zaved et al, 2008). There are several pathogenic bacteria that have been reported to be found in the solid wastes including opportunistic and nosocomial bacteria. The list of opportunistic pathogenic bacteria include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae, Serratia marcescens, Acinetobacter baumannii, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Enterococcus faecalis, and Streptococcus pyogenes. While that of nosocomial pathogenic bacteria includes strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Lysinibacillus sphaericus, Proteus mirabilis and Serratia marcescens (Saha, 2014).
Proper solid waste disposal is a big problem in urban cities and more so in developing countries. The intensity of the waste management problem increases with increased population due to the increased human activities and the solid wastes to be removed for disposal. Industries and urban management systems generate massive amount of solid wastes and most often dumping them in open fields posing a serious detrimental effects on the environment (Safiuddin et al 2010). These factors necessitated the researcher into this study, with a view to sensitizing the residents about the strategies for improving solid waste disposal and draw attention of the government in the provision of waste collection and disposal services which will help improve their health standard (Bolanle, 2014).
The main causes of improper solid waste disposal in urban centres are due to lack of good and enough infrastructures, non-implementation of existing environmental sanitation laws, irregular and unplanned dumping of solid wastes, population and urban growth due to rural-urban migration, insufficient capital to run solid waste management process and lack of new technology in waste disposing (Momodu, 2011). The insufficient coverage of the collection system and methods, lack of institutional arrangement and information resources, inflexible work schedule, and insufficient information on quantity and composition of waste have been reported as the major problems facing the solid wastes management systems (Ogwueleka, 2009).
Moreover, lack of awareness and active involvement of the households as the key stakeholders in service provision, delay of households to pay collection fees to the organizations concern with collection of wastes and bad relationship between the households and the collectors of solid wastes are other factors hindering the process of proper solid wastes management (Kassim, 2013).
Also launching of an emergency city clean-up campaign, privatization of solid waste management services, and composting will ensure good management of solid wastes in the urban settings (Combs, 2013). This should be accompanied with educating households, providing good services, creating good relationship with the households and collecting fees for the service at the light time (Kassim, 2009).
Solid waste disposal is the process of collecting, transporting, processing or disposing, managing and monitoring of waste materials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics. The major focus of this research is on the strategies for improving solid waste disposal practices as obtains in the urban developing nations. Waste includes all items that people no longer have any use for, which they either intend to get rid of or have already discarded and these include: packing items garden waste, old paints containers, vegetables, metals to mention but a few. Poor solid waste disposal has been a major problem to human health and existence, affecting both rural and urban areas. A clean environment influences good health and good health further affects the productivity of man. Therefore, it can be said that a good and clean environment invariably affects the wealth and economic status of the nation.
Prompt removal and proper management (mechanical sorting and excavating) methods of solid wastes in the human residents may ensure public health from pathogenic agents at waste sites ( Olawale, 2007).
Statement of the Problem
Waste management has been a global problem especially in the Sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria and Enugu North in particular due to negligence on the part of the people, resulting from indiscriminate solid waste disposal leading to airborne and infectious diseases.
One of the greatest environmental problems that pose a grave challenge to the residents of Enugu North, Enugu is waste disposal. Today, solid waste disposal constitutes a major urban environmental paralysis; a clog in the wheel of progress (Johnson, 2012).
These factors necessitated the researcher into this study, with a view to sensitizing the residents about the strategies for improving solid waste disposal and draw attention of the government in the provision of waste collection and disposal services which will help improve their health standard (Bolanle, 2014).
There are lots of heaps of waste (open dumping ground) all around close to residential areas and even public schools. There are no drainage systems in the area resulting to stagnant water which may pre-dispose to water-borne diseases and provide good breeding ground for mosquitoes.
The increases in population have created and exacerbated various environmental, health and other detrimental effects. This rapid increase in urbanization in Nigeria has overwhelmed local government’s resources for provision of solid waste management.
Community participation in solid waste management in the study area has not been effectively achieved. This is due to the lack of community empowerment and mobilization, organization, effective collection of local resources, outdated and poor reinforcement of environmental laws and lack of municipal authority commitment (Philips, 2009).
The improper disposal of solid wastes can lead to occurrence of health hazards to the people living and or working near the disposal sites. There was a considerable public concern over the possible effects emanating from the improper disposal of solid wastes in the disposal site in Enugu North of Enugu state prior to this study.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to determine the strategies for improving solid waste disposal in Enugu North of Enugu State. Specifically, the study would
1. Identify the methods of solid waste disposal among the people of Enugu North, Enugu State.
2. Identify diseases associated with poor solid waste disposal practices among the people of Enugu North, Enugu State.
3. Create awareness among the people on the implications of improper solid waste disposal practices of Enugu North, Enugu State.
Significance of the study
The study is therefore significant for the following reasons:
1. It will enable the government to take appropriate solutions to minimize the problems of solid waste disposal practices on proper collection and disposal of waste.
2. The health workers will be able to carry out research about waste management in the study area.
3. The resident of Enugu North will be enlightened about the effects of poor solid waste disposal.
4. The study would be utilized by the government at both Federal and the State levels through their various Ministries like, Ministry of Environment, Education, Health and Information. It will be beneficial for these Ministries in the area of policy formulation, most especially in the area of educating public in the schools and out-of-school. It will assist them when formulating laws that will promote human health and protect the environment.
5. The information will go a long way in helping the teachers, most especially Adult educator, environmental educators and health educators will also benefit from the study in such a way that it would help them to emphasize the link between good health and clean environment to the school public.
6. Media houses and others who are charged with the responsible of awareness creation will also benefit from the study.
7. A workable solid waste management strategy for Enugu North becomes dependent on a long term strategy for all citizens.
To guide this study, the following research questions were formulated:
1. What are the methods of solid waste disposal among the people of Enugu North, Enugu State?
2. What are the diseases associated with poor solid waste disposal practices among people of Enugu North, Enugu State?
3. What awareness could be created among the people on the implications of improper solid waste disposal practices of Enugu State?
Scope of the study
This study covers the strategies for improving solid waste disposal in Enugu North of Enugu State. It is delimited to the inhabitants in the area under study.
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