The Problems Of Provision Of Public Convenience In Urban Centres (A Case Study Of Nsukka Urban)

Project and Seminar Material for Mathematics and Statistics

The Problems Of Provision Of Public Convenience In Urban Centres (A Case Study Of Nsukka Urban)


Public conveniences are crucial infrastructure necessary for social well-being and practical operation of a functioning city. The provision of public toilets has implications for public and individual health. This project discusses the problems of public conveniences in Urban centres using Nsukka urban centre as a reference. Data was collected through the instrumentality of three sets of structured questionnaires. The questionnaires were administered on government agencies, operators and users of public conveniences in the study area. The simple random sampling technique was used to select of public toilet operators and users in 28 public conveniences in the study area.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Public conveniences should be seen as a core component of environmental design, adding to a city’s quality and viability (Greed, 2004). Provision of public convenience is not only a matter of land use, but also an essential design and planning concern to make cities more accessible, inclusive, and convenient for all members of the society. Public convenience provision often overlooks the needs and even the existence of women, children, disabled people, and the elderly. Ensuring public convenience provision is available to everyone can be considered essential to removing a serious barrier to wider participation in public life (Knight and Bichard, 2011). Moreover, evidence indicates that inclusively and well‑designed neighbourhood outdoor spaces positively contribute to people’s health and quality of life (Aspinall et al, 2010). Many people, such as the elderly and disabled, travel seldom, rarely go outside and avoid long journeys because of the lack of and/or inaccessible design of public convenience (Greed, 1996).

A public convenience is a room or small building containing one or more toilets and urinals which is available for use by the general public, or by customers or employees of certain businesses. Public conveniences are commonly separated into male and female facilities, although some can be unisex, particularly the smaller or single-occupancy types. Increasingly, public conveniences are accessible to people with disabilities.

Public convenience may be provided by the local authority or by a commercial business. They may be unattended or be staffed by a janitor or attendant(possibly with a separate room). In many cultures, it is customary to tip the attendant; pay toilets charge a small fee for entrance, sometimes by use of a coin-operated turnstile. Some venues such as nightclubs may feature a grooming service provided by an attendant in the room. Portable toilets are often provided at large outdoor events.

Public conveniences are typically found in schools, offices, factories, and other places of work; in museums, cinemas, bars, restaurants, and other places of entertainment; in railway stations, filling stations, and on long distance public transport vehicles such as trainsand planes.

1.2 Statement of Problem

It is common practice for people to answer the call of nature in the open field or use so-called “flying toilets”, which results in a poor sanitary, health and environmental situation (Drewko, 2007).

Public restrooms can bring relief to a community in more ways than one. They enable greater use of public areas, increase foot traffic in commercial areas which boosts local economies, they support recreation and meet basic human rights requirements for sanitation.

But while the benefits of a clean, serviceable and well-placed public restroom are many, these benefits can be negated when vandalism, anti-social behaviour and poor hygiene makes unprovidable.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The objective of this research includes;

  1. Examine if there is public convenience existing in Nsukka Urban
  2. To examine the problem of providing public convenience in urban centers
  3. To ascertain if there is problem in urban center of Nsukka Urban

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: there is no public convenience existing in Nsukka Urban
    H1: there is public convenience existing in Nsukka Urban
  2. H02: there is no problem of providing public convenience in urban centers
    H2: there is problem of providing public convenience in urban centers

1.5 Significance of the Study

Public conveniences are not only needed for regular purposes but also important during a particular occasion or event (Shamim, 2011). According to Durojaiye as reported by Okiri (2012), Nigerians celebrate anything, especially in the South-West. However, when they are celebrating, there are no conveniences. According to Somerset (2011) wherever people go, outside of their own home, toilet facilities are needed for the enjoyment of the area by visitors and also residents who may be some distance from their home. They can make a significant impact upon the comfort of individuals and families who visit public spaces and their perception of the area as a desirable place to visit

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers problem of provision of public convenience in urban centre. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities

1.7 Definition of Terms


A matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome


The action of providing or supplying something for use.


The state of being able to proceed with something without difficulty.

Urban Center:

An urban area is a human settlement with high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as cities, towns, conurbations or suburbs

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain problem of provision of public convenience in urban center. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of provision of public convenience in urban center

5.2 Summary

This study was on problem of provision of public convenience in urban center. Three objectives were raised which included:Examine if there is public convenience existing in Nsukka Urban, to examine the problem of providing public convenience in urban centers, to ascertain if there is problem in urban center of Nsukka Urban. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 residents in Nsukka urban area, Enugu state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made students,public workers, youthsand drivers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies

5.3 Conclusion

In this study, it is crystal clear that people using of public toilets in the study area are very poor; while respondents identified dirty environment and bad odour as the major challenges in using public toilets in Nsukka urban. Cleanliness ranked first among users‟ reasons for preferring private toilets in public buildings to public toilets in the area. From the ongoing, it is obvious that despite the inadequacy of public toilets in Nsukka urban, the available ones are dirty and unhealthy for users. This trend explains why people use open spaces when they need to relieve themselves (Drewko, 2007). The absence of toilets forces many people to defecate and urinate in open spaces. This manner of disposing of human waste is unhygienic and poses a great threat to human health. This is the reason Drenko (3007) opines that the provision of adequate sanitary facilities is essential in order to improve the hygienic condition of cities.

5.4 Recommendation

This study recommends hygiene education among users and training of operators/cleaners in the arts of keeping clean and hygienic public toilets. Local Government Councils should embark on massive provision and upgrading of existing toilets. This should be backed up by Acts of parliament that would make the provision and maintenance of public toilets the business of government. To achieving a high standard of environmental hygiene in public places, the collective efforts and commitment of the People, Private and Public (3Ps) sectors are crucial. Governments at local, state and federal levels need to work in partnership with the private sector and user communities to make the provision, operation and management of sanitation facilities sustainable in terms of management arrangements, and in terms of operational costs and revenues.

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