Environmental Hygiene And Health Status Of Traders
This is a descriptive research study on Environmental Hygiene and Health Status of traders in Akpan Andem Market. This study aimed at examining how regular disposal of waste can affect the health status of traders in Akpan Andem Market.
- To assess the availability of sanitation facilities and its effect on health status of traders in Akpan Andem Market.
- To examine the availability of regular water supply and its impact on health status of traders in Akpan Andem Market.
The target population for the study was two thousand stall owners in Akpan Andem Market, Uyo while the accessible population was 100 respondents which were drawn using Simple Random Sampling Technique to participate in the study. Data were collected using questionnaires comprising of 21 items. Data obtained were analyzed using percentages and frequency which were presented in tables and charts.
The findings of the study revealed that 95% of the respondents linked Diarrhea, catarrh, cough, malaria, cholera with lack of environmental hygiene due to inadequate sanitation facilities, irregular water supply and irregular waste disposal system. From the findings, the researcher concluded that if sanitation facilities, regular water supply and proper waste disposal system are made available in Akpan Andem Market, environmental hygiene and health status of traders will be improved.
The researcher therefore recommended among others that government and management of Akpan Andem Market should provide the necessary sanitation facilities such as adequate water supply, good toilet facilities and disposal system and effective drainage system. This will improve environmental hygiene and minimize serious health problems among traders in Akpan Andem Market.
1.1 Background of the Study
The importance of a market in any city or community cannot be relegated to the background as market provides a physical surrounding and an arena for purchase, exchange of goods for goods, goods for money and vice versa. It has been observed that there is scarcely a city or community without a market location. One basic challenge in a market is that unwanted materials generated by the market traders may not be adequately disposed.These unwanted materials are termed ‘Waste’.
The World Health Organization (2008) defines waste as “something, which the owner no longer wants at a given time and space and which has no current or perceived market value”. According to EPA (2007)waste could be in a liquid, gaseous or solid form and may constitute both biodegradable and non- biodegradable materials. The solid form of waste is composed of combustibles and non-combustible materials, the combustible materials include papers, plastics, debris, food stuff waste, wood, textiles, and other organics while non-combustibles include glass, metal, bones, leather and aluminium product (Zerbock, 2003). Waste is generated by activities in all economic sectors and can be regarded as an unavoidable by-product of economic activity (Goran, 2005).
One major challenge in a large market is that the generation of waste may outweigh the evacuation pattern and thus increase public health risks. The study area which is Akpan Andem market is one of the largest markets in the city of Uyo. The market usually attracts large gathering of buyers and seller, goods are exchanged for money on daily bases in the market. Categories of unwanted items in the market ranges from combustible materials like papers, plastics, food stuff waste to non- combustible materials like glasses and metals.
According to Meidina and Gamse (2010), markets contribute about 20% of waste generation; they are the second largest generator of municipal solid waste after households. Waste generation encompasses those activities in which materials are identified as no longer of value and are either discarded or gathered together for disposal (Momoh and Oladebeye, 2010).
In developing countries like Nigeria, proper waste disposal in markets is a source of concern as markets spring up with less attention to provision of proper refuse dumps; According to Ololadeet al.,(2009) man has carelessly polluted the environment in an attempt to dispose waste materials.
Wastes that contain high concentration of toxic substance when carelessly disposed can pollute underground water as liquid seep through waste, this leachate negatively change the chemical composition of the underground water. Improper waste disposal practices may also result in land pollution and could cause other adverse health effects. Thus the researcher aims at assessing the solid waste disposal pattern of sellers in Akpan Andem market Uyo. To the best of the researcher’s knowledge, there is no documented study on the assessment of the solid waste disposal pattern of sellers in Akpan Andem market Uyo.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Akpan Andem market is a central market in the city of Uyo and should be a place for healthy transaction of business activities however; piles of wastes litter the market. During periods of heavy downpour of rain, these piles of waste are channeled into drainage and causes obstruction of the free flow of water; they also provides excellent breeding ground for vector of communicable disease which are detrimental to the health of the buyers, sellers that visits the market and most especially harmful to household dwellers residing close to the market. More so, some sellers in the market lack waste storage containers and are left with no option than to dispose their waste in places suitable to them. Despite the growing concern of waste management in many market in the city Akpan Andem market inclusive,the assessment of solid waste disposal habits of sellers in Akpan Andem market as well as the evacuation practise of Akwa Ibom State waste management agency has not been studied to the best of the researcher’s knowledge.
1.3 Research Objectives
The main objective of this study was to assess environmental hygiene and health status of traders in Akpan Andem market.
- The specific objectives of this study ware
- To assess food stuff safety and hygienic knowledge of traders.
- To determine the attitude of traders towards food stuff safety and hygiene.
- To identify health status of traders.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the level of knowledge of traders with regard to food stuff safety and hygiene?
- What is the attitude of traders towards food stuff safety and hygiene?
- What is the health status of traders?
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study is limited to the research assessment on environmental hygiene and health status of traders in Akpan Andem market and primary data was collected only from the sampled market. Data collection were on waste generation, storage, collection and disposal by owners of stalls, shop stands, booths, kiosks, and counters among the various sections of the market. It was assumed that the above mentioned sellers registered with the market authorities and are recognised as sellers in the market. Data collected from the sellers provided the bases for identifying the current pattern of waste disposal in the market.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
The sellers were reluctant to give relevant information, extraction of this information was made possible by persuasion, politeness and perseverance. So much effort was made to see that the questionnaire for this research was answered as accurate as possible.
Members of staff of Akwa Ibom State Waste Management Agency were reluctant in providing comprehensive information. Also, there was a difficulty in penetrating the swampy areas of the market to obtain necessary data.
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study defined the waste disposal pattern operational at Akpan Andem market in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. It also define whether dumpsters are accessible for proper waste disposal in the market and how often the dumpsters are evacuated from the market. More so, it provides the basic information necessary for government to formulate policies for proper waste management. Finally, this study serves as a baseline study for future research.
Conclusion and Recommendations
This study aimed at carrying out an assessment environmental hygiene and health status of traders in Akpandem market. The results of this study show that trading is one of the most popular businesses in urban settings which employ a substantial fraction of the population of the urban dwellers. Similarly, the majority of traders had primary school education and only a small number of them had tertiary education, which implies their marginalization in the formal sector. This is further justified by the fact that the majority of them had no any formal training on food stuff safety and hygiene, which is an important requirement for safe guarding consumers.
The findings of this study indicated that the majority of traders (96.4%) were aware that poor or lack of hand washing could lead to food Hygiene and also the engagement of sick people in food stuff handling, which implies traders are only partially and not completing ignorant of the very basic food stuff hygienic practices. This could also be attributed to the findings that they had formal training in food stuff safety and hygiene. However, over half did not know that eating undercooked food stuff can cause same problem. Also, traders were not aware of cross-contamination, improper cooking and lack of cleaning and sanitization of equipment‟s in triggering food Hygiene.
The results also indicate that the majority of traders could identify only 5 sources of food stuff contamination (dirty equipment, foreign matter, food stuff handler, poor storage / uncovering and contaminated water) and could not identify the other 6 sources of contamination (poorly cooked food stuff, stale food stuff, food stuff ingredients, raw food stuff, dish towel and cooking well in advance) except the few minority. The other traders were completely ignorant of any source of food stuff contamination.
Regarding vendors‟ attitude to good safety practices, the responses strongly agree indicates that most often of the responses and for agree indicate the majority of the responses. The summative responses for both strongly agree and agree ranged to the great majority, which implies a positive altitude of market vendors towards food stuff safety. Despite the vendors positive altitude on those parameters including hand washing, it was physically observed that more than half of the respondents did not have hand washing facilities and also only few had access to portable water. It was further observed that about less than half of the vendors did not wash their hands after toilet visit.
Based on the findings of this study the following are the recommendations for improving the knowledge, altitude and practices of trader
The Government through Ministry of Health Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and Ministry of Local Government develop a code of practice for market trading.
Make food stuff safety training mandatory to traders.
Health officers be proactive in enforcing the existing laws and policies to ensure safe and clean working environments.
Municipal councils should provide guidance and standards for the vending sites.
Health education and promotion which focuses personal hygiene and food stuff safety to traders and consumers can be organized quarterly by the Municipal Council in collaboration with other health partners.
The Municipal Council introduces competition on food stuff safety and hygiene to traders by zone and award winners twice a year.
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