ASSESSMENT OF HOUSEHOLD SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT IN GOMBE, NIGERIA

ASSESSMENT OF HOUSEHOLD SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT IN GOMBE, NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY Solid waste management has become a global problem especially in developing countries of the world. One of the major factors that directly contribute to solid waste generation is urbanization and population growth. World population reached seven billion in 2011 and continues to rise with projection nearing 9.3 billion by 2050 (UNFPA 2010). Urban areas are the most populous areas in the world, especially in developing countries, where people migrate from rural areas to urban areas in search of better life and employment (UNFPA 2011). This increase in population which is accompanied by unexpected and unplanned rapid urbanization on the one hand and economic growth in developing countries on the other, have accelerated the generation rate of municipal solid waste (Al-Khatib 2010, Awomeso 2010, Medina 2010, Zerbock 2003, UNEP 2005a). The amount of household solid waste produced daily is significantly increasing in the cities of developing world. While the capacity and effectiveness of municipalities in providing municipal solid waste services remains undesirably low, (UN-HABITAT 2003, Medina, 2010). This result in the inability of the municipal corporations of the developing countries to handle the increasing quantities of wastes generated. These uncollected wastes litter the streets, roads and public places, this inefficient management and disposal of solid waste is an obvious cause of degradation of the environment in most cities of the developing world (Rathi, 2005). In Nigeria, for instance it is not unusual to see heaps of garbage in the major cities littering the streets, dumped in drains, vacant plots, and water bodies, and this has in many cases resulted in spread of communicable diseases. The situation appears to continue unabated due largely to the factors of urbanization, population growth, improved life style and insufficient funds to properly manage solid waste. Furthermore, some of the factors influencing solid waste generation in Nigeria include inadequate technology, facility for separation at source, strength of solid waste management policy and enforcement, environmental education and awareness and income status of individuals (Abel, 2009). The local government councils are mandated to exercise exclusive constitutional function of solid waste management. The 1976 local government edict was later entrenched in the1979 and 1999 constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FGN, 1999 and 1979). Essentially, solid waste management in Nigeria is under the responsibility of the Local Environmental Protection Agency as stipulated by the [16] 1988 decree which established the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA). Decree 58 of 1988 was amended by FEPA (Amendment) Decree No.59 of 1992. This legislation vests in FEPA the overall responsibility for the protection and development of the environment, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development of Nigerian's natural resources in general and environmental technology, including initiation of policy related to environmental research and technology, among other functions (Decree No. 59 1992).

In spite of the establishment of Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) and the formulation of the national environmental policy, the environment has not been adequately protected as interest and efforts are mainly channeled on aesthetics, which is rarely

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achieved (Agunwamba, 1998). Wastes collection is irregular and restricted to the major cities, thereby endangering public health by encouraging the spread of odours and diseases, uncontrolled recycling of contaminated goods and pollution of water sources (Adejoke, 1989). Rapid growing population, rapid economic growth, and rise in community living standards have accelerated the generation rate of municipal solid wastes, thereby causing its management to be a major worldwide challenge (Al-Khatib et al, 2010). Gombe whose population has multiplied sixteen times since 1952, reaching approximately 300,000 today has been as a typical example representing many other fast growing towns. Such high population growth rates of 6% results in a doubling of the population every twelve years (Balzerek 2001, 2003). This together with insufficient tools and equipments for collection coupled with irregular collection of these wastes, improper disposal method, inadequate transportation and storage facilities, and lack of separation and treatment mechanism in place compound problems of waste management. To cope with these challenges the State Government is resorting to the use of the private contractors for waste collection, transportation and disposal. Also, there is the presence of informal private operators in high and medium income neighborhoods. Yet, more and more heaps of this waste accumulates in various corners of the town. Therefore, it is against this background that this study focused on household solid waste generation and the examination of the capacities of agencies responsible for its management in Gombe. 1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM The management of household solid waste has been a major challenge facing agencies responsible for solid waste management in Gombe, as the volume of solid waste being generated continues to increase at a faster rate than the ability of the agencies to improve on the financial and technical resources needed to parallel this growth. In Gombe urban area, streets, residential backyards, waterways, uncompleted buildings, public spaces and undeveloped plots are littered with solid wastes as illegal refuse dumps for households. This is due to lack of adequate spatial distribution of designated household refuse collection points because it does not coincide with the rapid population growth and variation in neighborhood characteristics, leading to inefficient solid waste management by the Gombe State Environmental Protection Agency (GOSEPA) as well as the State Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Gombe Local Government and the Private Contractors.

Currently, solid waste management in Gombe has severe problems such as low collection rate and non collection in some areas, inadequate transportation and storage facilities, improper disposal method, and lack of separation and treatment mechanism in place. Furthermore, there is spatial area differentiation according to waste generation, collection and disposal in Gombe based on the socio-economic characteristics of households in the neighborhoods. At the high and medium income neighbourhoods, such as the Old and New G.R.A and Federal lowcost, the rate of generation of waste is high compared to the low income neighbourhoods such as Ajiya, Bolari, Dawaki and Shamaki etc. which form the center of the traditional setting and peri urban areas of Gombe. This is as a result of the high income level of the residents in purchasing more items than the residents of the low income neighborhoods. The collection of waste depends on the income of the owner of the waste to

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be able to pay the amount charged by the private contractors. At the low income neighbourhoods receive no or minimal waste collection. Disposal of waste is done openly on available spaces or set on fire in a little corner of the low income neighbourhoods backyards. This current management practices have further compounded the existing situation in the area. Although many studies on solid waste management have been undertaken by other researchers; Ojo (2008) Urban solid waste are generated by households with an average of 0.14m3 per week, in Anambra state, also Batagarawa (2011) and Nwude et al., (2011) conclude that solid waste management strategies and agencies responsible for its management are ineffective and inefficient in Kaduna metropolis, as cited in Stanley et al., (2011) while Stanley in the assessed household solid waste disposal practices in Sabon Gari conclude that households generate substantial quantity of waste which are not properly disposed of. For most of these studies, the management of household solid waste in Gombe is given little attention. This study examines the processes of household solid waste management and the role of all agencies involved in household solid waste management in Gombe with a view to making useful policy options for the improvement of the situation. The study therefore, sets out to answer the following specific questions:

(i) What are the current household solid waste management practices and challenges in Gombe?

(ii) What are the agencies involved in the household solid waste management practices and what roles do these agencies play in solid waste management in Gombe?

(iii) What strategies and options are available to deal with challenges of household solid waste management practices in Gombe?

1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY 1.3.1 AIM The aim of this study is to assess the household solid waste management practices in Gombe with a view to making recommendations on how to improve the solid waste management system.

1.3.2 SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

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This study is set to achieve the following objectives:

(i) To review the strategies and processes of household solid waste management practices in Gombe.

(ii) To examine the spatial variation, challenges and prospects of household solid waste management practices in Gombe.

(iii) To evaluate the roles of agencies responsible for solid waste management in Gombe.

(iv) To make recommendations for the improvement of household solid waste management practices in Gombe.

1.4 JUSTIFICATION FOR THE STUDY The accumulation of wastes at various corners of the Gombe urban area coupled with varying levels of collection or non-collection in areas of the town, inadequate transportation and storage facilities has made refuse common features of the Gombe urban area. Despite the efforts put in by the Gombe State Environmental Protection Agency (GOSEPA) as well as the State Ministry of Environment in conjunction with the Gombe Local Government in managing solid waste in Gombe, it still faces waste management problem. In order for the State Government to overcome the technical and financial deficiencies associated with the current system, the State Government resorts to the use of private contractors for collection, transportation and disposal and the presence of informal private operators in high and medium income neighborhoods. Yet, the problem still persists. Despite this problem, very little research on solid waste management has been carried out in Gombe. Therefore, waste management and handling capacity in Gombe must be enhanced. And this can be enhanced through the analysis of household solid waste management practices and the formulation of appropriate strategies and policies for the management of urban household wastes. 1.5 SCOPE AND DELIMITATION In this study, the assessment of household solid waste management practices in Gombe is the major issue to be considered with the view of identifying the agencies responsible for its management. The work focused mainly on the spatial variation of neighborhoods characteristics on the basis of density that is Low, Medium and High within the four selected wards of Gombe urban area. 1.6 STUDY AREA

Gombe is located in north east geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It is the largest city and capital of Gombe State. Gombe is situated right within the expansive savannah region of Gombe State

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which was created in 1996 out of the former Bauchi State. It shares interstate boundaries with Yobe to the North, Bauchi to the West, Taraba to the South, while Borno and Adamawa States are to its East. Gombe State covers an area of 17,100sq kilometers which lies between latitude 100 15’N and 110 10’E and between longitude 10.2500N and 11.1670E. Figure 1.1 shows Gombe Urban Area - the study area.

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Figure1.1: Gombe Urban Area Source: Satellite Imagery, 2015. Gombe Urban Area has an area of 52km2 and a population of 266,844 persons according to 2006 population census (NPC, 2006). The population is projected to be 399,531 persons in 2015 using 3.2% growth rate (National Population Commission Gombe State Office). The Gombe urban area shares common borders with Kwami in the North, Akko in the South and Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area in the East. It has eleven (11) wards and nine Districts and a number of hamlets under each district. Major tribes of the area are Fulani, Bolawa, Kanuri, Tera and Hausa.


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