Assessing The Spatial Distribution And Locational Impact Of Petrol Service Stations On Uvwie LGA, Delta

Project and Seminar Material for Urban and Regional Planning

Assessing The Spatial Distribution And Locational Impact Of Petrol Service Stations On Uvwie LGA, Delta


This project examines the locational impact of petrol stations in Uvwie local government area. Primary data was collected using questionnaire and secondary data was collected from Ikonos digital imagery of Warri metropolitan area, 50 petrol stations were analyzed and questions administered to the respondents regarding to the locational impact of the petrol stations in the study area. The study result reveals, that the establishment and location of these petrol stations in various parts of the study area is going on without due regard to planning criteria, safety and without considering the environment. Petrol stations in the area are built with little or no compliance to planning regulation and standards; these therefore remain a source of concern to all. There is a need therefore for plans and actions to tackle the situation for today and the future. Suggestions were made so that any change introduced into the environment should not facilitate its destruction and consequently hazardous to human.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of Study

The technological initiative of man towards the development of automobile and the discovery of petroleum triggered the building of petrol service stations at strategic locations to meet the demand of vehicle owners (Abdul et al., 2009).

In recent times, there has been a sustained increase in the number of petrol stations established in different parts of the country. The reasons for such unprecedented increase are not farfetched: First, the growing number of people in the country and the attendant increase in the purchase of vehicles. Secondly, the attractive price of petrol both at control price and black market prices which made more people to go into the petrol retailing business (Uchegbu, 2002).

In view of this development, many marketers take advantage of this need and build service stations haphazardly without giving consideration to the possible effect of the locations of the stations. It has now generally been recognized that economic development can be a major contributing factor to growing environmental problems particularly when such development is not sustainable. A greatly improved understanding of natural resource base and mostly environmental systems that support national economies is needed if patterns of development that are sustainable can be determined and recommended to government.

Petroleum, (crude oil) naturally is composed of various organic chemicals found in large quantities below the surface of the earth and is used as fuel and as raw material in the chemical industry. Modern (industrial) society uses it primarily to achieve mobility. In addition, petroleum and its derivatives are used in the manufacture of medicine and fertilizers, plastics, building materials, paints, and cloths and to generate electricity. In fact modern industrialization depends on petroleum and its products; the physical structure and way of life of the urban centres are the result of an ample and inexpensive supply of petroleum. In short, the goals of developing countries are based on the assumption of petroleum availability.

Petrol Stations, serve as outlets for retailing petroleum resources such as gas, fuel, kerosene etc., which are highly inflammable, therefore need to be located appropriately in relation to other activities so as to avoid its consequent impact on the immediate environment. The environmental impacts of the locations of petrol stations are therefore not negligible and may not be ascertained unless an Impact analysis is carried out.

1.2 Statement of Problem

More than half of fast growing world population is living in urban areas, and this is only expected to grow in more coming decades (USAID, 2001). Most of the urban centers in the world are exposed to some hazards, such as traffic congestion, pollution and many more problems resulting from un-coordinated development. Apart from these hazards, cities are also confronted with other problems like accidents, explosion and fire. Urban centers have a varying degree of vulnerability, depending on the level of development, copping capacity and the level to which effective development control strategies have been implemented. In most urban areas, the high demand placed on land resulted to illegal conversion, leading to haphazard development and the deliberate location of petrol stations in unsuitable areas and highly vulnerable to hazard (KASUPDA, 2009). In a highly urbanized environment, Filling station is a significant contributor to traffic problems like traffic congestion, pollution, fire and explosion. The extents of these problems depend on the criteria or variable such as location, size and set back from road etc.

Areas close to filling stations witness a lot of noise, congestion, air pollution, foul odour and other traffic related problems, especially when there is fuel scarcity which results in long queuing or where the petrol stations does not conform with planning standard . Indiscriminate parking leads to reduction in width of carriageway meant for the efficient movement of automobiles and pedestrians. Thus it becomes a major problem in our cities and especially in the Central Business District, where multi-story buildings are common and the land use is devoted mostly to commercial purpose.

The resultant effect of such illegal parking and queuing therefore is traffic congestion, loss of productive hours and delay in journey. Most of these identified problems of filling stations still persist in Uvwie due to lack of adherence to planning regulations. This work, therefore addresses the problem confronting urban environment in its bids to ensure sustainable location of filling stations. This study explored GIS capability to analysis the spatial analysis on the location of petrol stations in Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta state and proffer ways of ensuring strict compliance to planning laws and regulations with regards to petrol stations location. To achieve a desired goal, this work identifies area of high concentration of petrol stations in Uvwie Local Government Area.

1.3. Aim and Objectives

The study is aimed at assessing the spatial distribution and locational impact of petrol service stations on the environment with a view to identifying the physical development problems and to make improvement proposals. (A case study of Uvwie Local Government Area).

The following specific objectives were pursued in order to achieve the above aim:

  1. To determine the location of petrol service stations in the study area.
  2. To determine the proximity of petrol stations to residential houses, public/semipublic institutions.
  3. To ascertain the effects of the locations of petrol service stations on the environment.
  4. To recommend physical planning solutions to alleviate the problems identified.

1.4 Scope of study

The scope of the study is limited to Uvwie local government area which is the study area. The study involves digitizing the satellite imagery of the area, generating digital facility map, manipulating and analyzing the dataset as well as presenting the results in Tables and Map format. The study only took into consideration built up areas that are vulnerable to noise and vapour gas emission at selected buffer distances of 60m and 100m proximity analysis for public institution.

1.5 The Study Area

1. Location

Uvwie is a local government area in Delta state, Nigeria, its geographical coordinates are latitude 5° 33′ 0″ North, and longitude 5° 47′ 0″ East as shown in Figure 1.1, its original name (with diacritics) is Effurun. Effurun is the headquarters of Uvwie LGA which was carved out of the then Okpe LGA along with Udu LGA on the 4th of December, 1996.

2. Population

Uvwie Local Government Area is an urban settlement with an estimated population of 188,728 going by the 21, March 2006 population census which spread across Effurun, Ekpan, Ugberikoko, Ugboroke, Ugbomro, Uredjo (Enerhen) and others. Its area is 95km2 and Density: 1,986.6 inh./km2.

3. Climate

Effurun the capital of Uvwie has two main weather conditions annually. The wet season begins towards the end of March when the tropical maritime air mass is prevalent and ends in November, often abruptly. Dry season begins with the onset of tropical continental air mass, which is predominant between the months of December and February. The months of December and January are usually cold- dry months.

Uvwie heaviest precipitation occurs during September with an average of 220mm of rainfall. December on average is the driest month of the year, with an average rainfall of 5mm, as shown in figure 1.2. Temperature throughout the year in the city is relatively constant, showing little variation throughout the course of the year. Average temperatures are typically between 25° C-28°C in the city.

3. Geology and soil

Geologically, the rock types are recent sediment (post cretaceous). The major soil types can be related to climatic factors, vegetation, lithology and topography which gave birth to the hydromorphic soils found in the area which is seasonally or permanently water logged. The influence of poor drainage is reflected in the whitish or grayish colours due to the reduction of the oxides in the soil. The extent of profile development of the seasonally waterlogged soil is limited by the depth of the permanent water table.

4. Vegetation

The vegetation found in the study area includes mangrove and fresh water swamp forest. The mangrove forest is edaphic community common on muddy coastal shores, tidal swamps and associated creeks and lagoons. The environment of this forest formation is dominated mainly by changes in soil factors, especially those associated with distance from the sea, frequency and duration of subversion degree of salinity of sea water, soil aeration and soil fertility. As these changes vary from place to place, a number of edaphic communities are usually recognized as the peaty swamp, fresh water swamp, riperia tide and mangrove forest.

These are the reasons for the existence of both mangrove and fresh water in the study. The mangrove swamp appears essentially alike in its physiognomy and its ecological relationship throughout its entire world range. The flora consists of trees and shrubs. The dominant gums in all the area is Rhizophora (red mangrove). Also associated with the study area are palm trees and lianas in areas where the vegetation has been reduced to dense thickest (secondary forest). Trees are slender with stilt root (Pneumatophores) but however, where the forest has been disturbed raphia palm spread quickly to dominate the entire valley swamp.

5. Socio cultural setting

It is one of the Urhobo Kingdoms and has a king, Ovie, who rules over the traditional institution of the town. It is a gateway town in and out of the city of Warri; the indigenous inhabitants are the Uvwie people, organized into four quarters. Each quarter is headed by a traditional administrator known as the Umuevworo and at the pinnacle of the traditional administration of the people is the paramount ruler, The Ovie. It is densely populated region and has many of the city’s finest exotic hotels for relaxation such as Wellington Hotel, Hotel Excel, Mega Hilton hotel, Casa De Pedro Hotel. Institutions located in these local government area include; Federal University of Petroleum Resource, Effurun, Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Warri Business School. Companies present are Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Ekpan, Chevron, Warri refining Petrochemical Company, Ekpan, Niger Cat. Other facilities include, Effurun army barracks, Uvwie modem market, Centre for peace international and mediation.

1.6 Justification of Study

Spatial analysis of the location and distribution of petrol stations will prevent a qualitative urban environment for living, working and recreation. The problem of indiscriminate location of petrol stations is taking place at alarming rate in almost all Nigerian cities. Therefore, the study is relevant to Uvwie Local Government as a frame work for the state government, and stakeholders. It will serve as a guide for individuals, developers and other stakeholders in the planning and approving the siting of petrol station in the study area and Nigeria at large.

Chapter Five

Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary of Findings

From the survey in this study, Geographical information system was used to analyze locational impact of petrol station on the environment. I realize that the locational impact of petrol stations in Uvwie local government area and its environs is not to be undermined as analysis clearly showed the diverse and adverse impacts of the locations of petrol stations. From the study, it was observed in figure 4.2 that most of the petrol stations are below the minimum environmental requirement for a petrol station and therefore people living in these buildings which include Residential houses, Church, School will be affected with vapour gas emission and noise pollution in the future. In figure 4.3, buffer operation shows public institution (School, Church, Hospital, Hotels) that are within 100m distance to a petrol station. potential hazards that could emanates as a result of close proximity of the petrol station to residential houses and public institutions includes Fire hazards, air pollution (vapour gas emission), and noise pollution.

However petrol stations render useful services to the community other that petrol retailing and other vehicle related services, these services include mini mart, catering services and supply of potable water and toilet services. The stations were also being utilized as bus stops and shades to the community and other road users.

5.2 Conclusion

It is pertinent to note that the need and the subsequent distribution of fuels in cities and homes have resulted in the establishment and proliferation of fuel service station in towns and cities today. Even though the supply of fuel, which is a major source of energy, is needful and important for the economic growth and development of every country, its negative impacts from the processes of fuel retailing should not be overlooked. In Uvwie metropolitan area, proliferation of the stations is going on at an alarming rate due perhaps to population growth and increase in the acquisition and use of automobiles, office/industrial machines and other domestic equipment which consume these fuels.

However, this study revealed that the establishment and location of these service stations in various parts of the study area is going on without due regard to planning criteria, safety and environmental considerations. Service stations in the area were often built with little or no compliance to planning regulation, lack of the implementation of standards and recommended practice the failure of which affects human directly or indirectly. These therefore remain a source of concern to all, but do we then fold our hands and watch these problems erode humans and their living environment? There is a need therefore for plans and actions to tackle the situation for today and the future. That is then the perspective of sustainable development in physical planning: how the environment could contain development without getting destroyed in the process.

Thus, it relates to precautionary measures taken to evaluate the impact of any development on the environment. The idea here is that any change introduced into the environment should not facilitate its destruction and consequently hazardous to human.

5.3 Recommendation

For the purpose of mitigating the existing locational impacts on the environment and also for the purpose of future development, recommendations are made base on the findings from the study towards mitigating such impact on the environment. The following recommendations are made:

  1. A detailed Site Analysis in consultation with Ministry of lands and town planning prior to development of petrol stations should be mandatory, that is to ensure that the scale of the station`s buildings is related to the scale, character and form of adjourning structures and the activities of the area. This is to also ensure an attractive development which integrates in safety of the populace and also compliments the surroundings. In view of the above, the following should be considered:
    1. Public/semipublic areas within 100m radius of Petrol stations should either the public buildings or the station, comparatively be considered for relocation from the area.
    2. Petrol station`s shall be a minimum of 30m from adjoining residential building if total relocation is found difficult. In commercial areas, the structures shall be set back to, at least 3m from adjoining property.
  2. The planning authority should consequently have the benefit of sufficient information on the likely effects and of the opinion of the Ministry of Environment and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) before planning decision is taken.
  3. I encourage the planning authority to recommend the use of vapour recovery system for the trapping of these vapour gases released from petrol stations..

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