PHYSICAL AND HEALTH EFFECT OF WASTE DISPOSAL SYSTEM
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Itam dumpsite is the place where solid waste in the city of Uyo is being disposed of. Improper m~ 14 ~anagement of waste affect the health of the population living nearby the polluted area or landfills. Waste disposal workers and other employees in these landfill facilities are at a greater risk. Exposure to improperly handled wastes cause skin irritations, blood infections, respiratory problems and growth problems. It is supervised and run by the Uyo city council. This research introduces improper garbage disposal at Itam dumpsite, explaining how it is being managed and an overview of scavenging at the dumpsite. It examines how improper waste disposal has impacted on human health especially in the communities near the dumpsite. According to the study done, three diseases are common in the compound with typhoid fever being the highest with 37.9%, malaria at 34.4% and cholera at 29.7% out of the total 90 respondents. The study showed that dumping of solid waste is improperly done because of supervision which has resulted in dumping of solid waste off the landfill.
This showed that improper dumping of solid waste has contributed highly on the disease outbreak not just in Chunga Compound but Uyo city at Large. This is because most scavengers come from all over the city of Uyo to scavenge at the dumpsite. In Uyo, only, an estimated 15 per cent, of the municipal solid waste generated, is collected, resulting in a build-up of waste in open spaces and along streets in or around the city, (UN-HABITAT, 2007: 14. A sample of respondents of the project was selected for semi-structured interviews to explore their purpose and activities. A total of 60 individuals responded to the survey, representing 66.7% of the three groups as the three groups which were sampled has 90 members. This groups include Health care workers, Scavengers, community residents and community health workers. Despite a small sample, the researcher collected data successfully.
The ramifications of improperly disposing of waste products are immense. Not only does improper garbage disposal turn the environment into a nasty, polluted cesspool but it also has the potential of making people sick. The improper disposal of solid waste can lead to severe health outcomes by creating the environment for the proliferation of vectors such as rats, cockroaches and mosquitoes. Further, improper waste disposal can lead to the pollution of the air and water sources leading to such diseases as respiratory tract infections (RTIs) cholera, dysentery and typhoid fever. It can cause skin conditions like scabies and Trachoma (a preventable eye disease in which the eyelashes eventually invert, leading to blindness). Parasites living in dirty water can cause diseases like dracunculiasis and schistosomiasis. (Riquelme ; Méndez; & Smith; 2016)
The management of garbage disposal at Itam dumpsite has continued to cause negative environmental impact such as pollution of air, soil and water. This has eventually caused a lot of problems to human health and the spread of diseases caused by insects and rodents from the garbage heaps.
The management of solid waste continues to be a major challenge in urban areas throughout the world particularly in urban areas especially in the rapidly growing cities of the developing world (Foo, 1997). A high rate of population growth and increasing per capita income have resulted in the generation of an enormous volume of solid waste, which poses a serious threat to environmental quality and human health (Snigdha, 2003). Access to sanitation services and clean adequate water are therefore regarded as crucial to the health and wellbeing of people. As more cities become industrialized, the congenital problem of waste management comes along with it. This study seeks to fill the gap by looking at how waste is being transported, deposed, community attitudes towards waste disposal and what Uyo city council need to do to work together with the health sectors in order to improve the health status of the community.
Garbage and other solid waste pose a threat in the city of Uyo. There is no proper management of dumping garbage and solid waste at Itam dumping site which has contributed to a high number of water borne and respiratory tract diseases such as typhoid, cholera and acute respiratory tract infections, respectively. For instance, in
2018, 98 deaths from cholera were recorded in Uyo (WHO/MoH 2018). For Uyo, the city generates about one million tonnes of waste annually, according to the city’s Waste Management Unit (WMU). But only half of this is taken to the designated dump site.
Therefore, this study takes into consideration the concerns from government and other stakeholders to eradicate these diseases by suggesting ways of proper waste management.
This study will try and understand the reasons as to why the Uyo City council has been failing to supervise the proper management of dumping garbage and solid waste at Itam damp site. The study will help identify the barriers to the proper implementation of projects dealing with wastes management at Itam damp site. Finally, the study will help come up with recommended measures to improve waste management at Itam damp site.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Garbage and solid waste pose a threat to human health in Uyo, especially if management of dumpsites are not properly supervised. Safe and acceptable solid waste management practices are of serious concern to the health of the public. The concerns come from both poor policies and proposed solution from government and other stakeholders in managing solid waste. There is improper supervision on how waste is being managed by the Uyo city council at Itam dumpsite. Currently, residents and vendors have been dumping wastes outside or just near the dumpsite causing a lot of health hazards to the residents in the community, and in the process degrading the land. Further, human scavengers have been left to patronize the Itam dumpsite at will in full view of the local city authorities.
This study will analyse the barriers to proper waste management and propose measures which need to be put in place by Uyo city council so as to find better and environmental friendly ways of waste management at the dumpsite.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The purpose of this study is to investigate the health problems associated with improper waste disposal and management at the Chunga dump site in Uyo’s sub-district and come up with proposed solutions to improve waste management situation.
- To investigate the diseases that affect humans due to poor waste management.
- To describe the measures which the health facilities (Ministry of Health) have put in place to minimise the impact of diseases associated with improper waste management.
- To explore possible sustainable mitigation measures to challenges of improper waste management at Itam dumpsite.
1.4 Research question(s)
- What diseases affect humans due to poor waste management,
- What measures have the health facilities (Ministry of Health) put in place to minimise the impact of diseases associated with improper waste management?
- What possible sustainable mitigation measures exist to minimise the challenges of improper waste management at Itam dumpsite?
- People who live near the dumpsite and scavengers are more likely to suffer from diseases associated with poor waste management.
- An informed community takes the lead in prevention of diseases.
1.6 Significance of the study
The possible results of this study on the impact of poor waste management on human health atItam dumpsite will be used by Ministry of health and other stakeholders to formulate policies and guidelines for the local community, neighbouring places and other relevant authorities on environmental health to prevent outbreaks of diseases and its management in Uyo city. It will also help stakeholders in planning and formulating future policies with regards to prevention disease and control of disease outbreak in the city of Uyo.
1.7 Rationale / Justification
Itam dump site in located in Uyo, this is where all solid waste is dumped from all corners of Uyo city. Many people dump in their waste using different transportation ranging from trucks, wheelbarrows and individual, various companies contracted by LCC and different communities and individuals carry and dump their waste at the site. The dumpsite was mainly planned for a smaller population and household of Uyo not foreseeing the growing population of the city which has greatly increased. This has caused a lot of disease outbreak such as typhoid, cholera and acute respiratory tract infections.
According to WHO report dated 9 October 2017 a total number of 282 Rapid Diagnostic Test were performed, of which 230 were positive. Of 310 culture tests, 53 were positive for Vibrio Cholera (48 from Chipata, 4 from Kanyama and 1 from Bauleni). Water quality monitoring is ongoing in all sub-districts, with intensified activity in Kanyama, Matero and Chipata. The results so far show that nearly 42% of tested water sources are contaminated with either faecal Coliforms or Escherichia Coli.
The cumulative number of reported cholera cases in Uyo as of January 2nd (2018) is 1,901, with 48 deaths, resulting in a high case fatality rate (CFR) of 2.4 percent. The CFR rate is a measure of the severity of a disease. It is defined as the proportion of reported cases of a specified disease or condition that are fatal within a specified time. With proper and timely treatment, the case fatality rate for cholera should remain below one percent.
The poor solid waste management problem has become one of the major concerns for the entire city of Uyo. It is an important element to consider in safeguarding public health and ensuring environmental protection: i.e. protection against short-term direct and indirect health risks due to poor waste collection and disposal by the Uyo city council.
The findings in this report are subject to certain limitations. Some of the major limitations are:
- The study was unable to adequately assess health-care waste generation at private clinics because of uncooperative attitude from some administrators. It seems inspite of assurance of confidentiality, there was hidden fear that the findings might be reported to higher authorities for action.
- The COVID 19 outbreak made it difficult to finish the research on time due to restriction in accessing the data in health facilities