Poor Environmental Sanitation And Public Health Challenges

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Poor Environmental Sanitation And Public Health Challenges


Abstract


The essential aim of this study is the examination of the general implication of poor sanitary condition of the residents of Ojo Local Government Area in Lagos State. To achieve this aim, a research design that combines a survey of 200 residents of the study area was adopted for this study. The study found that low standard of sanitation still exists as a result of unhealthy habit and unhygienic condition of people of unhealthy areas. Therefore, effective health education and awareness are required in other to cultivate standard living habit among the residents of Ojo local government area


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

It is a settled law of all biological organisms must essentially generate waste. It follows therefore that irrespective of social and economic status, humankind must inevitably generate waste in various forms which include gas, liquid and solid on a daily basis, the geographical location in which they live notwithstanding.

Waste management has to do with the handling of solid refuse from its sources of generation through storage, collection, transportation, recovery and treatment processes to disposal. Gaseous and liquid waste arises from industrial waste such as polluted water and carbon monoxide as by-products of diesel oil used in industries as alternatives to the generation of electricity. The poor and unmaintained sewerage system, and poultry and piggery waste in the city also contribute to environmental pollution and nuisance, which are hazardous to human life (Omoleke, 2006).

In order to protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of inappropriate waste disposal and environmental pollution, systematically supervised and controlled handling of these wastes is an absolute requirement. However, the type of waste that constitutes environmental pollution is domestic refuse consisting of degradable food waste, leaves, dead animals, corpses and non-degradable waste such as plastic, glass, nylon, and medical and hospital waste (Omoleke, 2006). The waste is generated in households, hospitals, industries and commercial centres.

In view of the fact that the essence of waste management is to maintain an acceptable level of the quality of the environment, sound public health and creation of aesthetic value, this study focuses on implication of poor sanitary condition among the residents of Jakande-Ajangbadi area in Ojo local government area of Lagos State.

According to Olukoye (2000), a major reason for the social concern with environmental sanitation has been the presence of physical and biological threats and dangers associated with poor sanitation, as it affects life and health. The environment technically includes all those external factors both living and non-living that affect an organism. Human environment in both its natural and man-made aspects is not only a source of threats to life, it is also a sheltering that relates positively to health as biological, psychological and social needs. It follows that both health promotion and protection value overlap with other social values that have environmental implications. Thus, human health and its general well-being has always depended on our relationship with environment.

The widening gap between technological developments and the ability of institutions to adapt is at the root of the multiplication of environmental problems that confront us in our houses, at work or on the street. All of these environmental and institutional problems in tum are intertwined with and form a part of the social problems of the day. Therefore, our recourse according to Hanlon (2009) is to join the rest of the world, to live on it with greater wisdom than before, and to anticipate and guard against those environmental forces, natural and man-made, that might mitigate against our health.


1.2 Statement of Problem

Common types of environmental sanitation problems are associated with cultural behaviours, inadequate health education programmes, population growth, poor management and technological developments, and since the relationship between sanitation and health has been established, the government should now direct its programmes towards eliminating all possible sources that can endanger health. If strict measures are taken with full participation of the community the most prevalent communicable diseases in Nigeria will gradually be eradicated, as most of these diseases are directly or indirectly related to our environment. Since the relationship between sanitation and health has been established, what type of programme can individual, community or government initiate to eliminate all possible sources that are hazardous to life?

In view of the above therefore, this study examines the implication of poor sanitation on the residents of Jakande-Ajangbadi areas in Ojo local government area of Lagos State.


1.3 Research Questions

  1. What are the roles of governments and the citizens towards keeping healthy environment and practices in Lagos State?
  2. What are the challenges facing government and the people in keeping healthy environment in Lagos state?
  3. Are there any relationship between the quality of environmental sanitation and quality of health of the people in the study area?
  4. How can we promote and improve on quality sanitation habits among residents of Lagos State?

1.4 Objectives of Study

  1. To assess and evaluate environmental sanitation practices in the study area.
  2. To examine the health related problems associated with poor environmental sanitation in the study area.
  3. To highlight the constraints and challenges of keeping healthy environment in Lagos State.
  4. To make recommendations for improving and promoting quality sanitation habits among the residents in the study area.

1.5 Significance of Study

Studies have shown that issues surrounding environmental sanitation are concern of everybody including public and private bodies, individual and groups, family members and government. This underscores the central role played by education and awareness, it also justify the need for this current study.

Also the study is expected to shed more light on the social and health implications of poor sanitary conditions and low standard of living in Nigeria. Therefore, the study is part of the effort to educate the Nigerians about unhealthy habits and unhygienic condition.

Finally, the study will make a veritable source of secondary information both locally and internationally. Therefore, other researchers, public, government agencies and other interested readers stand to derive a lot of information as related to healthy living and maintenance of quality and standard of environmental sanitation.


1.6 Scope and Delimitation of Study

The entire work of this research focuses on implication of poor sanitary condition in Lagos State. To collect a reliable data Jakande and Ajangbadi Area in Ojo Local Government Area was selected as study area. This choice is due to some limitations, which do not allow for a total and comprehensive study such as economy of time, finance and energy saving.

In view of this, the choice of this study area is believed to be relevant because of growing population of the area. For instance rural dwellers coming to the urban areas like Jakande and Ajangbadi every day, they are likely to continue their unhealthy habits adding to the already unhygienic condition of the area.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Environmental sanitation:

The art of keeping our surrounding clean and control of all sources and factors that can aid the spread of diseases.

Health:

Is a state of complete physical mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Public health law:

These are laid down rules and regulations relating to the protection and promotion of good health standard.

Management:

May be defined as the creation and maintenance of an environment in which individuals working together as a group can accomplished the pre- set goals within the limited resources available.

Pollution:

Means to destroy the purity, sanity or the quality of water.

Nuisance:

Anything that is likely to injure health either directly or indirectly is a nuisance.

Technology:

Systematic application of knowledge and skill to practical performance or tasks in production.

Hygiene:

Is the scientific knowledge and application of healthy living.


Chapter Five


Discussions, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Discussion of Findings

Results from the above have shown that a number of responses and views from the field are tied with the finding in the review of the secondary information in chapter two. For example, in relation to the first objective sought to examine the role of the government and citizens in ensuring good environmental sanitation, majority of the respondents have a good mindset on that regard, majority suggested that the government should implement a routine clean up, some others suggested the government should provide adequate dustbins in strategic areas, some suggested that there should be a penalty on loitering.

As per the third objective that sought to determine how social conflicts created by environmental sanitation programme affects the lives of the people of Lagos state, 7.8% of the respondents who were made of 7 respondents said that there have not been any social conflicts associated with the implementation of the environmental sanitation programme in Lagos state, while 72 who represented 80% said that there have been conflicts that are associated with the implementation of the environmental sanitation programme. On average, over 80% of the respondents gave issues like increased social unrests, quarrels, strife and sometimes violent wars that have been witnessed between various groups collecting the garbage or regular wars from organized gangs that want to control the dumpsites due to the recyclable valuables. Also, wars have been experienced on ways in which contracts and tenders of garbage collection are allocated to various companies in the county. This has been affirmed to by a number of scholars from the literature review.


5.2 Conclusions

From a series of issues that have come into bow starting from the literature review, the information gathered in the field and the summary of the findings, the research concluded that the environmental sanitation in Lagos state just like any other in the rest of the world have led to jobs creation in the area and other surrounding environs.

The researcher also concludes that health hazards and issues have been surrounding the implementation of the sanitation programs in the area just like any environmental sanitation across the world in countries like China, India, Uganda, and many more.

Also, the researcher concludes that social conflicts, wars, misunderstandings and societal clashes have been linked to environmental sanitation implementation in Lagos state.

Finally, the researcher concludes that environmental pollution, soil degradation, ground water contamination among others has been associated to the implementation of waste projects in Lagos state. This has gone beyond to include the ugly looks of the lands enclosed in the dumpsite areas that have made it difficult for tourists for example to visit.


5.3 Recommendations

First, the researcher recommends that the environmental sanitation in the county should be formally organized from the low levels/village levels to the wider county levels since the projects have been proving more than self-employment.

Secondly, the researcher recommend that health hazards associated with environmental sanitation programme need to be controlled (through recycling and wastes toxics check) since the waste doesn’t only lead to diseases cause but has led to a number of deaths and strained families health care.

Thirdly, the researcher recommends that social conflicts associated with such projects in the county and country at large must be addressed through various avenues like mutual designed committees, reconciliation bodies and penalties should be attached to those who break the set rules.

Finally, the researcher recommends that bodies like NEMA should be contacted in doing an up to date EIA so as to come up with better strategies of handling and disposing the waste with minimal pollution to the environs if any.


Poor Environmental Sanitation And Public Health Challenges


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