ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL IN ILORIN-SOUTH OF KWARA STATE, NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Waste management is a serious issue due to its human health and environmental sustainability implications. It is really a pressing issue the world is facing today, since a high percentage of waste is currently disposed of by open dumping (Schiopu, Apostol,Hodoreanu, and Gavrilescu, 2007; Abdelnaser, and Gavrilescu 2008; Abdelnaser, EI-Amrouni, Latifa, Pakir, Ramli, and Aziz, 2009; Narayana, 2009).To buttress this assertion (Zamorano, Molerob, Grindlayb, Rodriguezc, Hurtadoa& Calvo, 2009; Jalil, 2010; Adekunle, Adebola, Aderonke, Pius and Toyin, 2011) posit that Waste Management is a globally challenging issue especially in developing countries, due to its adverse environmental effects. Mankind naturally depends on the environment to sustain their lives but solid waste is one of the three major environmental problems in Nigeria, many other developing and even the developed countries are threatened by this. It plays a significant role in the ability of nature to sustain life within its capacity.
Domestic waste management, collection and disposal have always been a universal issue. This is because efficient and appropriate collection and disposal of solid waste has been recognized as essential to the hygiene and health of urban societies-since the nineteenth century. Over the course of the first half of the twentieth century, sanitary engineers and the broader public also came to understand that the inappropriate treatment of waste could cause major environmental degradation, while recycling could contribute significantly to environmental sustainability.
Waste management is imperative because improperly stored refuse can cause health, safety and economic problems. All living organisms create waste, but humans create far more waste than other species. To prevent damaging the Earth’s ecosystems and maintain a high quality of life for the planet’s inhabitants, humans must manage and store their waste efficiently and safely.
In addition, the problem of municipal waste has also turned into a global challenge because of an exponentially increased population, rapid urbanization, and worldwide industrialization and limited resources (Narayana 2009; Hazra,& Goel 2009). Also, developing countries are facing some typical problems when municipal solid waste management(MSWM) is discussed, which envisage poor and inefficient coverage and operation of services, inadequate or missing recycling strategies and activities, limited or unproductive management of hazardous waste etc, (Blight, and Mbande 1998; Henry, Yongsheng, and Jun, 2006; Abdelnaser, &Gavrilescu 2008). The major problem caused by wastes to the environment is pollution characterized by various types of solid wastes which include paper, textile plastic, metals, glass, bone, wood, vegetal matter and food remnant of multiple consistency. According to studies, it was noted that for years, the major problem in Israel (especially in Ramat Hovar) was the accumulation of tens of thousands of tons of organic wastes. Also in the U.S until the 1970’s, Federal Agencies had little authority to regulate hazardous and solid disposal in an unsafe manner at landfills or in inclined lagoons, with some wastes simply dumped on the ground or in surface waters. Today, solid waste management becomes a complex and multidisciplinary problem, needed to be approached from technical, economic, social points of view in order to ensure its sustainability, since the concept of environmental sustainability is a key criterion to design waste management systems, (Manfredi & Christensen 2009).
There are three components of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection. Sustainable development ensures a developed world with secured and healthy environment for all; human beings, animals and plants. Since the primary function of solid waste management is to ensure public health protection together with environmental quality and sustainable development, national and local authorities must adopt sustainable solid waste management systems in a tight partnership with both the public and private sector. Since poor waste disposal habit of the people, corruption, weak government regulation, poor work attitude, insufficient fund, inadequate facilities such as plants and equipment among others are factors militating against effective waste management towards sustainable development in Nigeria as a whole. Therefore, if there is to be sustainable development in waste management in Nigeria, the availability of land (for landfill), human resources, adequate funds, plant and equipment and other tools must be readily available. We need to protect future for the next generation by cleaning up our environment of all types of waste, taking into consideration both physical and population development of the state. Generally, waste management is defined as the collection, keeping, treatment, disposal and recycling of wastes in such a way as to render it harmless to human and animal life, the ecology in particular and the environment in general. Despite this laudable attention, collection, disposal, processing, treatment, recycling and utilization have defied solution. At present, private sector waste disposal operators diligently visit homes and carry away refuse bags, load them into waiting trucks and cart them away for final disposal.
Recognizing the importance of waste management as an instrument of achieving sustainable development in Kwara State, government has intensified efforts to create wealth and job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths in the state, a sizeable portion of land has been acquired in Silas Works, Fegge area in Onitsha, by the state government to establish a recycling plant.
The recycling plant at Onitsha will be transferred through a transfer system to Ilorin-south, Awka and other major cities in the state to recycle and decompose waste that comes from these major cities. The Managing Director, Kwara State Waste Management Agency (ASWAMA), Mrs. OraedumNjide, said that the plant which would soon start will generate wealth to the state, but expressed fear that Kwara State may not have enough waste to accommodate the plant if established. Recycling of waste generates wealth to states. This will in turn ensure sustainable development in the state. ASWAMA in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government in the state have been moving round to see to these problems and very soon, they will start house to house inspection because we need to nurture and groom our environment like a baby. They have been trying to sensitize our people on the need to keep our environment clean. It is under the auspices of the foregoing that the study sets out to ascertain the effect of waste management on sustainable development in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Improper waste handling and management pose serious threats to the environment and public health. In Nigeria, the commonly practiced waste management option in Nigeria, basically involves the collection of mixed waste materials and subsequent dumping at designated dumpsites. It is not a practice to separate waste materials at source or any point during its management (Adekunle et al, 2011). Development is needed to enhance the quality of the lives of citizens in a country since developmental projects affect the environment, ecology etc. Therefore, for the past few decades people have been talking about sustainable development. There are three components of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection. There are as well, many factors that contribute to the degradation of environmental quality. One of the factors that contribute seriously to the degradation of environmental quality is household and industrial waste. Sustainable development requires meeting the major needs of all people and extending opportunity to satisfy their aspirations for a better life. During the past decade, the concept of sustainable development attracted significant attention from researchers, governments of different countries and international environmental organizations. The reason is lucid, that is, the increased rate of environmental pollution and degradation. Since poor waste disposal habit of the people, corruption, weak government regulation, poor work attitude, lack of fund, inadequate facilities such as plants and equipment among others are factors militating against effective· waste management towards sustainable development in Nigeria as a whole. Therefore, if there is to be sustainable development in waste management in Nigeria, the availability of land (for landfill), human resources, adequate funds, plant and equipment and other tools must be readily available.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad objective of this study is to examine the effect of waste management on sustainable development in Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study are:
*To determine whether improper disposal and handling of waste has any significant impact on environmental sustainability in Kwara State.
*To ascertain the nature of the relationship between environmental protection and waste management system in Kwara State.
*To examine the effect of waste generation on socio-economic development in Kwara State.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions would guide this work:
*To what extent does improper disposal and handling of waste impact on environmental sustainability in Kwara State?
*What is the nature of relationship between environmental protection and waste management system in Kwara State?
*To what extent does waste generation impact on socio-economic development in Kwara State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses:
Based on the research questions formulated above the following hypotheses. guided the study:
There is a significant relationship between improper disposal and handling of waste and environmental sustainability in Kwara State.
There is a significant relationship between Environmental protection and waste management systems in Kwara State.
Waste generation affects socio-economic development in Kwara State.
1.6 Significance of the study
The general public, government and waste management agencies stand to benefit from this study. Empirically, the outcome of this research will enable the general public and government to grasp deeply the hazardous effect of reckless disposal of waste along every nook and cranny of the nation and factors that impede/hamper the implementation of waste management in Kwara State. Also, this study will equally strengthen government efforts towards the release of funds for waste evacuations and prompt payment of salaries to employees of these various agencies having vividly understood the import of poor waste management via extensive work done on this write-up.
Theoretically, this study will make a useful contribution in the field of management as it will serve as another source of knowledge in the management of waste and material resources of the various establishments in Nigeria.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research focused on waste management and sustainable development in Nigeria with particular emphasis on Kwara State Waste Management Agency.
1.8 Limitations of the study
Myriads of factors constitute impediments towards the successful completion of this work. One of the factors is availability of many relevant materials which the research found very tedious to articulate and coordinate. The researcher’s speed in executing this work was also hampered by her nature of job and family responsibilities. In addition, the investigator also encountered problems in eliciting vital information from the top personnel of the organization under study. But despite these hurdles, the researcher made frantic efforts to ensure the successful completion of the work.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL IN ILORIN-SOUTH OF KWARA STATE, NIGERIA