Air Pollution In Obio Akpor; Causes and Prospects

Project and Seminar Material for Public Health

Air Pollution In Obio Akpor; Causes and Prospects


More recently, air pollution has been a prevailing issue for discussion due to its adverse health and environmental effects in major cities and more importantly the Niger Delta region as a whole. The study was therefore carried out to assess the causes and prospects of air pollution in Obio Akpor LGA, Rivers state, Nigeria. Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere. The causes of air pollution are either natural or anthropogenic. While its effects could be health or environmental. In terms of remediation, there are now practical alternatives to the principal causes of air pollution. For instance, combustion of fossil fuels for space heating can be replaced by using ground source heat pumps and seasonal thermal energy storage. Commonly used as pollution control devices by industry or transportation devices which can either destroy contaminants or remove them from an exhaust stream before it is emitted into the atmosphere has been listed. Also, motor vehicles driven by fossil fuels, a key factor in urban air pollution can be replaced by electric vehicles. This has led us to present a general overview of the causes, effects and remediation of air pollution with a little focus on Nigeria. Finally, when it comes to the ObioAkpor and the Niger Delta, there are numerous challenges facing air quality studies such as; lack of equipment, lack of infrastructure, inadequate expertise and weak policy framework.


Table of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of Problem
  • 1.3 Research Objectives
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study
  • 1.8 Definition of Concepts
  • 1.9 Organization of Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.2 The Hazard of Air Pollution
  • 2.3 Road Network Pattern And Analysis and its Impact On Environment
  • 2.4 Effects pf Air Pollution
  • 2.4.1 Health Effects
  • 2.4.2 Environmental Effects
  • 2.4.3 Effects on Wildlife

Chapter Three

3.0 Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Data Collection
  • 3.3 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Causes of Air Pollution
  • 4.1.1 Natural Causes
  • 4.1.2 Anthropogenic Causes
  • 4.2 Case History: Obio Akpor and the Niger Delta
  • 4.3 Prospects

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The word pollution has been used in many contexts with different connotative meaning. However, pollution can be seen as the contaminating the environment. The problem of air pollution has become has become a major concern to both global and local environmental policies formulators purported to address its devastating trend, particularly in growing megacities of the world. The negative effects of the phenomenon are more pronounced in megacities of developing countries than in developed ones. Port Harcourt, as an industrialized, commercialized and an emerging megacity in Nigeria, has been subjected to several predictions of the negative impacts of changing climatic conditions partly caused by ubiquitous air pollution. Efforts at stemming the tide of the increasing challenges of air pollution worldwide have significantly been thwarted by inadequate funding, and awareness programs. This ugly trend has made it pertinent to review the policies regarding climate change and its negative impacts on the lives and properties of teeming inhabitants of Port Harcourt. A review of these policies will entail a wider coverage of research and analysis of the adverse effect of air pollution on land and its implication on the value of land. Air pollution constitute to 20% of land depreciation, this is because a polluted environment does not attract development and population growth. Transportation and property are important in physical and economic development of towns and cities all over the world. Property and land values tend to increase in areas with expanding transportation networks, and increase less rapidly in areas without such improvements. Rapid and continued rise in housing and land prices are expected in cities with transportation improvements and rapid economic and population growth (Goldberg, 1970). Man, nations, regions and the world would be severely limited in development without transportation, which is a key factor for physical and economic growth (Oyesiku, 2002). Transportation systems and land use are interdependent. According to Bailey, Mokhtarian, and Littlel (2008), transportation route is part of distinct development pattern or road network and mostly described by regular street patterns as an indispensable factor of human existence, development and civilization. The route network coupled with increased transport investment result in changed levels of accessibility reflected through Cost Benefit Analysis, savings in travel time, and other benefits.

Road networks are observed in terms of its components of accessibility, connectivity, traffic density, level of service, compactness, and density of particular roads. Level of service is a measure by which the quality of service on transportation devices or infrastructure is determined, and it is a holistic approach considering several factors regarded as measures of traffic density and congestion rather than overall speed of the journey (Mannering, Walter, and Scott, 2004). 1 Access to major roads provides relative advantages consequent upon which commercial users locate to enjoy the advantages. Modern businesses, industries, trades and general activities depend on transport and transport infrastructure, with movement of goods and services from place to place becoming vital and inseparable aspects of global and urban economic survival. Developments of various transportation modes have become pivotal to physical and economic developments. Such modes include human porterage, railways, ropeways and cableways, pipelines, inland waterways, sea, air, and roads (Said and Shah, 2008). According to Oyesiku (2002), urbanization in Nigeria has a long history in its growth and development. Extensive development being a feature of the 19th and 20th centuries, with concentration of economic and administrative decision-making in Lagos, Ibadan, Kaduna, Jos, and Enugu, and high degree of specialization and larger population associated with greater specialization of goods and services. Wyatt (1997) states that urban areas have tendency to develop at nodal points in transport network and places with good road network will possess relative advantage over locations having poor network. Urban locations with such relative advantage are found where different transport routes converge with high degree of compactness, connectivity, density, length and accessibility exhibited within the intra- and inter- urban road networks. Port Harcourt is a typical example in the history of growth and development of cities in Nigeria. The city became capital of River state in 1976 with improved road networks developed to cater for increase in concentration of pedestrian and vehicular movements. Similarly, commercial activities like banking, retail/wholesale businesses, and professional services congregated to take advantage of nearness to seat of governance. Concentration of activities attracted consumers and ancillary service providers. This partly caused increase in demand for commercial space and its concomitant effects on commercial property values along arterial roads in the metropolis. The present position concerning commercial properties in Port Harcourt is that majority are located along arterial roads that deliver much of the vehicular and pedestrian movements. There have been increases in rental values along the individual arterial roads although not at equal rates. It is against this background that this research analyzed the arterial roads, determined the levels of accessibility, connectivity, traffic density of the individual arterial roads, examined the pattern of commercial property values and the relationship between the explanatory variables of the road network in Port Harcourt in Nigeria. However, the higher the population density, the higher the transport facility, and the higher the level of air pollution which is a hydra monster to climatic change

1.2 Statement of Problem

The problem of air pollution control in an industrial environment in west Africa especially Nigeria, this is so because some policies which ought to be put in place to prohibit air pollution are not properly implemented. The major problem of air pollution arise from the used of heavy duty plant, machinery and vehicle which releases carbon monoxide into the atmosphere which contribute to the major source of air pollution.

Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere (Tawari &Abowei, 2012). It can be defined as the presence in the outdoor or indoor atmosphere of one or more gaseous or particulate contaminants in quantities, characteristics and of duration such as to be injurious to human, plant or animal life or to property, or which unreasonably interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property (Odigure, 1998). Air pollution is one of the problems associated with the growing population of various cities. This has increased tremendously with urbanization and associated industrial development and growth in mobility which have deteriorated air quality and intensified air pollution in densely populated areas. The severity of the air pollution problems in the cities reflects the level and speed of development (APMA, 2002; Molina et al., 2004; Grutter et al., 2014), and most of these pollutants are emitted from “fugitive” sources such as evaporation of solvents or leaks at industrial facilities, incinerators and flare stacks can also be source of atmospheric emissions (Fort Air Partnership (FAP), 2014). The main objective of the study is to present a general overview of the causes and prospects of air pollution in Obio Akpor LGA, Rivers state, Nigeria.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The main aim of this study was to assess the causes and prospects of air pollution in Obio Akpor LGA, Rivers state, Nigeria. The specific objectives are outlined as follows;

  1. To ascertain the effect of air pollution control in Obio Akpor LGA
  2. To evaluate the effect of air pollution on climate change
  3. To examine the prospects of minimizing air pollution on environment
  4. To explore avenues of eradicating air pollution in ObioAkpor LGA

1.4 Research Questions

In other to achieve the objective of the research, the following research questions were formulated:

  1. What is the effect of air pollution control in ObioAkpor LGA
  2. What is the effect of air pollution on climate change?
  3. What are the prospects of minimizing air pollution on environment?
  4. What are the avenues of eradicating air pollution in ObioAkpor LGA?

1.5 Hypothesis

  • HO1: There is no significant effect of air pollution on Obio Akpor LGA, Rivers state, Nigeria
  • HA1: There is a significant effect of air pollution on Obio Akpor LGA, Rivers state, Nigeria

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study upon completion will be useful to:

  1. The government in their policy formulation and implementation
  2. The federal ministry of environment in combating the menace of climatic change
  3. The federal road safety corp. to ascertain some vehicle which are no longer road worthy and the public at large

1.7 Definition of Terms


May be seen as the mixture of nitrogen, oxygen and minute amount of other gases that surround the earth and forms its atmosphere. Air may also be seen as the invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth, a mixture mainly of oxygen and nitrogen.


May be seen as the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that causes adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat, air or light.

Air Pollution:

This is the act of contaminating the air with gaseous substances and waste. Commercial or industrial waste is a significant portion of solid waste. According to the University of Utah, industries use 4 million pounds (1.8 million kg) of materials in order to provide the average American family with needed products for one year. Much of it is classified as non-hazardous, such as construction material (wood, concrete, bricks, glass, etc.) and medical waste (bandages, surgical gloves, surgical instruments, discarded needles, etc.). Hazardous waste is any liquid, solid or sludge waste that contain properties that are dangerous of potentially harmful to human health or the environment. Industries generate hazardous waste from mining, petroleum refining, pesticide manufacturing and other chemical production. Households generate hazardous waste as well, including paints and solvents, motor oil, fluorescent lights, aerosol cans, and ammunition and some of this waste are gaseous.

1.8 Organization of Study

The study comprises of 5 chapters. In chapter one, the concepts are introduced and the problem of the study is established with the research objectives and questions. Chapter two presents the literature review while chapter three presents the research methodology. The fourth chapter presents the results and discussion, and the last chapter presents the conclusion and recommendation.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The study was carried out to assess the causes and prospects of air pollution in ObioAkpor LGA, Rivers state, Nigeria. Motor vehicles driven by fossil fuels, a key factor in urban air pollution can be replaced by electric vehicles. Though lithium supply and cost is a limitation, there are alternatives. Herding more people into clean public transit such as electric trains can also help. Nevertheless, even in emission-free electric vehicles, rubber tires produce significant amounts of air pollution themselves, ranking as 13th worst pollutant in Los Angeles (World Bank Group, 2016). Biodigesters can also be utilized in poor nations where slash and burn is prevalent, turning a useless commodity into a source of income. The plants can be gathered and sold to a central authority that will break it down in a large modern biodigester, producing much needed energy to use. According to Bell et al. (2004) induced humidity and ventilation both can greatly dampen air pollution in enclosed spaces, which was found to be relatively high inside subway lines due to braking and friction and relatively less ironically inside transit buses than lower sitting passenger automobiles or subways. Titanium dioxide has been researched for its ability to reduce air pollution. Ultraviolet light will release free electrons from material, thereby creating free radicals, which break up VOCs and NOx gases (NASA, 2018).

Finally, when it comes to the ObioAkpor and the Niger Delta, there are numerous challenges facing air quality studies. Like in most developing nations the issues are intertwined and the most prominent have been lack of equipment, lack of infrastructure, inadequate expertise and weak policy frame work. This and many other factors have been the bane to achieving the much-desired goals towards preserving the quality of the ecosystems and safeguarding the health of the public in the region and as a nation as well.

5.2 Conclusion

Air pollution is a challenge in most developed societies of the world; contemporary societies of Africa and Nigeria in particular also grapple with and or/tackle this menace in recent times. Our analysis of the negative impact of environmental pollution in contemporary Nigeria society would focus specifically on; agricultural and Hunting activities of the agrarian people, industrial activities of the urban based, Noise pollution, Housing, conflict and warfare.

For sound health policy, we must shift away from dealing primarily with specific risk factors and look “upstream” to underlying land-use determinants of infectious disease and ultimately the human behavior and established institutions that are detrimental to sustainable population health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a similar DPSEEA (driving forces, pressures, state, exposure, effect, actions) model that in a similar way describes the interlink age between human health and different driving forces and environmental change (WHO 1997).

As such understanding increases, it will become more feasible to plan how to prevent new infectious disease emergence. Yet, because these are rare events, accurate predictions will remain daunting. It is already evident that inserting humans into complex ecosystems can lead to a variety of EIDs, but health outcomes depend on the economic circumstances of the human population. In poor and tropical communities, land use change can lead to major shifts in infectious disease patterns. For these situations, many conventional public health interventions can prevent several infectious diseases at relatively low cost.

It is hopeful that the research would stimulate other studies particularly and that the results and findings would be found to be useful contribution to knowledge. This study has expanded the research frontier in by introducing new dimensions and concept in the area of air pollution in Obo Akpor. The researcher is also hopeful that the findings in this study would be of great assistance to Governments at various levels in the formulation and implementation of policies and measures that will effectively promote enhanced accessibility through increased development of prospects for control and management. This study is therefore a great contribution to knowledge in this regard and it is hopeful that it would open more research in this direction.

5.3 Recommendation

Creating environmental awareness to the teeming rural based population with low literacy levels is the best option to curbing problems of air pollution. This will be achieved by mounting and organizing workshops, conferences, seminars etc. to educate the public on how to manage, and improve on the relationship between human society and the environment in an integrated and sustainable manner. Emphasis should be laid on why we need to sustain the environment. Pointing out too that human existence is predicated and as well, supported by the environment. It is a two way approach, as we fail to sustain the environment, the environment too will not sustain us.

  1. Through radio, television and other electronic media, the public should be informed on why it is important to redeem the environment by Replacing a felled tree with at least other 10 stakes of trees.
  2. Religions leaders and heads of institution in our churches, mosques and institutions of learning should admonish the faithful and the students on the need to redeem the environment and possibly replace vegetation
  3. A prompt legislative framework should be put in place to make laws that would tackle headlong issues of air pollution in Nigerian.

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