Background of the Study
In its modern concept, environment includes not only water, air and soil but the social and economic condition under which we live (Park, 2011). The key to mans health lie largely on his environment. Infact, much of mans’ ill-health can be traced to adverse environmental factors such as water, soil and air pollution poor housing conditions, presence of animal reservoir and insects vectors of diseases, which poses serious threats to man’s health.
Man is often responsible for the pollution of the environment through urbanization, industrialization and other human activities. According to the National sanitation foundation of USA, the word sanitation is defined as “way of life that is expressed in the clean lines of homes, farms, business, premises, neighbourhood and community Parks (2011). Furthermore, World Health Organization (WHO) defines sanitation as the provision of facilities and services for the safe disposal of human urine and faeces and other waste materials (UNICEF and WHO 2012)
Environmental Sanitation is a process whereby the environment is kept clean and conditions that promote health and prevent diseases are maintained (Park, 1995). Similarly, Ezeka (2004) described Environmental Sanitation as the reduction of hazardous and hostile elements in the environment such as minimizing environmental pollution of all types and also creating and maintaining good environmental conditions that promotes health and prevents diseases.
Hence inadequate environmental sanitation is a major cause of disease, world-wide and improving sanitation is known to have a significant beneficial impact on quality health. In addition, environmental sanitation is the control of all those factors in man’s physical environment which exercise or may exercise deleterious effect on his physical development, Health and survival according to WHO. It can also be seen as the principle and practice of effecting healthful and hygienic conditions in the environment to promote public health and welfare, improve quality of life and ensure a sustainable environment. (Alabi, 2010).
The essential components of environmental sanitations include: solid waste management, medical waste management, excreta and sewage management, food sanitation, sanitary inspection of premises, market and Abattoir Sanitation, adequate potable water supply, school sanitation, pest and vector control.
In most developing countries adequate environmental sanitation has not been strictly adhered to. For example in some part of Nigeria, living with waste as part of the natural environment has become a way of life. Although there has been a remarkable improvement from what it used to be in the late eighties/nineties, there is still much to do as Awka the “capital of Anambra State” is constantly increasing by vast population through steady influx of people of all works of life into the city.
The necessity of environmental sanitation made the researcher to focus their study on the identification of sanitation problems and ways of solving them. For instance Aniefiok (2004) noted that solid waste management practices was generally poor among household members, private waste collectors and municipal wastes collectors as well as problems in the transportation of the refuse to the point of final disposal and the methods of its final disposal. These refuse consist mostly of garbage, ashes, paper, empty cans sewage and also industrial wastes.
According to Unuraye and Olojaba, (2005) the objective of environmental sanitation is to create and maintain conditions in the environment that will promote health and prevent diseases. They maintained that the key to achieving this is by increasing public awareness and hygienic education at all levels on the dangers of unkept environment and the way out. Looking at the problems of environmental sanitation and health promotion there is increased generation of solid waste which should be matched with adequate methods of waste disposal and more days scheduled for transporting accumulated waste in receptacle placed in strategic areas.
Growing interest and attention have been paid to the analysis of the sanitary standard of the neighbourboods which has continued to deteriorate, and it seemed evident that people are yet to grapple effectively with how to handle the problems of refuse in the cities and towns like Awka.
The Awka metropoly is one of the unplanned urban centres in Nigeria. With the enhanced status of Awka as a state capital since 1991, there seem to be an associated rise in living standard as well as a boost in the quantity and nature of solid waste generated. Most cities in Nigeria (Awka inclusive) are presently experiencing various form of sanitation problem or waste management problems. The situation is worst after every rainfall, as the drains are blocked with wastes thereby giving rise to urban flooding.
Some years back, the collection and disposal of refuse in Anambra State in general and Awka South in particular was purely on individual responsibility basis. However in recent times, the government has made arrangement whereby there are some agencies for waste management such as Anambra State Waste Management Authority (ASWAMA), and Anambra State environment protection Agencies (ANSEPA) that are working in different local government area to ensure the cleanliness of the environment including that of the city of Awka Town in Awka South Local Government Area.
The local government was relived of its function of being in charge of waste management by the establishment of the Anambra State Environmental Sanitation Authority (ASESA) in 1985. Waste management under (Nnaemeka,2013) ASESA was characterized by heaps of waste at undesignated sites, around residential homes and along major streets hence the well built, designated public dumpsites was left to accumulate for weeks without evacuation. Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency (ANSEPA) was established in 1998 to replaced ASESA (Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency,2016)
Anambra State Environmental Protection Agencies Performed its own waste management under the operations department with a zonal office also at Awka. But the introduction of ASWAMA in 2011 revealed a slight improvement from that of ANSEPA( Uguoma,2012).
This involves placing of receptacles at strategic places for the collection of wastes. The refuse deposited into these receptacles are emptied or evacuated to their final dumpsites by either a chain-up vehicles or a compactor respectively. The determinations of points for the placement of receptacles are guided by the concentration of activities and not any empirical data. The Authority also engage street sweepers on the major roads in Awka, but the wastes are openly dumped without any form of treatment. The final dumpsite is still a gully erosion site. Yet there is approved site at nearby Nise, by UN which is not in use.
The state monthly sanitation and the efforts of the sanitation agencies notwithstanding, cities in Awka South and its environments seem not to completely clean due to indiscrimate dumping of refuse at various gutters and roadsides. Hence, the need to unravel the factors that militate against effective environmental sanitation in Awka metropolitan city of Anambra State.
- Statement of the Problem
Due to the urban Nature of city of Awka in Awka South L.G.A, efficient measures on environmental sanitations remains imperative for both the physical and mental well being of the inhabitants. People in Awka town generate large wastes just as in other places highly populated. These wastes generated by the inhabitants if not cared for or managed properly could cause a lot of health problems such as outbreak of diseases. Offensive odor, nuisance, air pollution, fly infestation and death. The waste also harbours dangerous animals like snake scorpions.
The introductions of ASWAMA by the state government in different local governments are of immense important to the attainment of good environmental health. They provide dustbins at different points in the state.
Poor sanitation accounts for almost 50 percent of a child being underweight since it has direct link to diarrhea, sanitation is a serious issue that is affecting most parts of the world especially the developing country. On a global scale, the most affected are children who in most cases lose their lives due to diseases caused by poor sanitation.
A pleasant environment that promotes healthful living and hazard free is a fundamental right of all Nigerians, hence there is an increasing national consciousness on the need for efficient management of the Nigeria environment which is the need to find the factors necessary for the seemingly ugly sanitary condition of Awka metropolis. Which is the main problem of this study.
- Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to figure out the factors militating against effective environmental sanitation in Awka metropolitan city of Anambra State. Specifically, the study examine.
- How non-availability of sanitation equipment militates against environmental sanitation in Awka.
- Factors militating against proper supervision of environmental sanitation activities in Awka.
- How lack of awareness of the importance of good sanitary conditions militate against environmental sanitation in Awka and
- How non-availability of funds militate against environmental sanitation in Awka.
- Research Question
- Do non-availability of equipment militates against environmental sanitation in Awka?
- What factors militates against proper supervision of environmental sanitation in Awka?
- How does awareness of Awka dwellers regarding the importance of good sanitarian condition affect environmental sanitation in Awka?
- How does non-availability of funds militate against environmental sanitation in Awka.
- Significance of the Study
The study generates data on how availability of equipment militates against effective environmental sanitation in Awka. These data are of value to both the state and local government health department who may use them as guide in budgeting for health.
Data were also generated on the factors military against proper supervision of environmental sanitation in Awka. The information will be useful to both the management of Anambra State waste management Agencies and other Agencies related to environmental matters who could use them for self evaluation. The information could also guide them in redefining their supervisory procedures.
The study as well generated data on how awareness of Awka dwellers regarding the importance of good sanitary conditions militate against environmental sanitation in Awka. These information will be of immense help to health educators and environmental health officers. They may enable them know the areas to educate the general public on environmental sanitation issues.
Finally data were generated on how availability of funds militate against effective sanitation in Awka. These data were of importance to both the state and local government health units. They will guide them in budgeting for health.
- Scope of the Study
This study covered the entire Awka South LGA. It covered the major towns in Awka which are Okpuno, Agu-Awka, Nise, Nibo, Mbaukwu and Umuawulu.
The study was also limited to only factors that militates against effective solid waste collection and disposal in Awka. The factors investigated were; availability of equipment, supervision of environmental sanitation activities, awareness of the important of good sanitary conditions by the dwellers and availability of funds for proper regular environmental sanitation exercises (activities).