Indiscriminate solid waste disposal and problems with water-polluted urban cities in Africa

Abstract


Augustine N. Ozoh, Blessing T. Longe, Victor Akpe and Ian E. Cock*

The high rate of illegal municipal solid waste disposal is alarming, as it is a global factor affecting the human environment. This applies to most developing countries without proper and active environmental protection laws and Agencies to keep the environment safe. Science and technology have proven to be a lead factor towards high rise of industrial modernization, urban growth and population increase, contributing to the adverse effect of refuse disposal in most cities. African countries are considered to be more prone to such deteriorating environment, exposing inhabitants to dangers of indiscriminate environmental waste. Nigeria at large is a country faced with such environmental problems and this is partly because, Nigeria failed to adopt new methods of scientific innovation and technology for waste management. More urban lands have been converted for building of industries which has led to the encroachment of natural life and eco-system. In respect to the ecosystem, the water treatment for domestic use may also be heavily polluted with water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, gastroenteritis, and other diseases which may be nascent to mankind. These solid waste disposals are found in water ways, streets, drains, gutters, and around public places. Research has shown that Africa is faced with population explosion but with limited facilities to contain the collected waste from domestic users. A reconnaissance survey conducted to investigate the wastes volume and types from 3 different areas and 15 different drainages shows that drainage clogging contributed to increased rate of flooding, erosion, stagnant waters in areas not designated for water retention. As a result, there have been numerous cases of destruction/loss of houses, businesses, and farms, and some people have been forced to relocate, to escape an impending doom. Consequently, accumulation of stagnant water and sewage has resulted in unpleasant smell, especially in houses close to drainages. Furthermore, these areas are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other insects. Furthermore, this paper recommends that adequate attention must be paid to the problem of drainage clogging in order to avoid flood and its attendant health problems.

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