Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Impact of Inadequate Urban Planning on Municipal Solid Waste Management in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Impact of Inadequate Urban Planning on Municipal Solid Waste Management in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study examines the impact of inadequate urban planning on municipal solid waste management (MSWM) in the Niger Delta Region (NDR) of Nigeria. The continuous migration and high concentration of people, administration and industrial activities in the region with little or no implementation of urban planning procedures during the development of the settlements in the region has contributed to increase the problem of MSWM in the NDR. It is not uncommon to see streets, roads, undeveloped plots of land and drains littered with solid waste in most Niger Delta cities, towns and communities. The data for this research were gathered from field surveys, observations, questionnaires as well as desktop information from published materials. Chi-Square statistical method was used in the analysis of the correlation data. The results show that there is a strong relationship between inadequate waste collection and the existence of unplanned settlements in the region. The study also revealed that indiscriminate waste disposal is strongly linked with the existence of unplanned settlements in the NDR of Nigeria. Therefore, the implementation of urban planning procedures and inclusion of waste management during the building and development of cities, towns and villages in the Niger Delta should be taking as a matter of high priority if cities in the region are to be clean and free from wastes and environmental pollution.

Keywords: inadequate urban planning, municipal solid waste management, Niger Delta region of Nigeria

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1. Introduction

The continuous migration and high concentration of people, administration and industrial activities in Niger Delta urban areas with little or no implementation of urban planning procedures during the development of these cities and towns, has led to the increasing problem of unsanitary municipal solid waste management (MSWM) in the region. It is not uncommon in most Niger Delta cities and towns to find streets, roads, undeveloped plots and drains littered with solid waste (Nkwocha & Okeoma, 2009). Open dumping of solid waste (SW) is common wherever land is available. It is often done without regard to safety, health hazards and aesthetic value degradation (Botkins & Kelly, 1998). The most intractable problem of waste management (WM) in Nigeria, especially the Niger Delta Region (NDR) is indiscriminate waste disposal and inadequate waste collection. This is exacerbated by the absence of WM infrastructure, inadequate collection of wastes, inadequate road networks and the existence of unplanned cities, towns and shanties, as well as inadequate funding, awareness and the unwholesome attitude of the masses (Nkwocha, Pat-Mbano, & Dike, 2004; UN-HABITAT, 2010).

The provision of infrastructural facilities has declined, and intracity mobility is greatly hindered by poorly planned and inefficiently managed land use and a sharply reduced network of roads. The municipal service that has seemed to fail most strikingly as a result is waste collection and disposal. The service is frequently inadequate, with a preponderant proportion of the refuse generated remaining uncollected and with large parts of cities, particularly low-income areas, receiving little or no service. In most towns, the service is unreliable, irregular, and inefficient (Olowu, 1981; Koehn, 1992; Stren, Halfani, & Malombe, 1994).

Housing and associated facilities (e.g. water and electricity) in the Niger Delta are similarly inadequate; millions of people now live in substandard and subhuman environments, plagued by slums, squalor, and similarly inadequate social amenities, such as poor schools, health and recreational facilities (Onibokun & Kumuyi, 1996). Consequently most cities in Nigeria, such as Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Aba, Warri, Benin, Onitsha and Portharcourt suffer from a culture of clutter because of the non-existence of enforceable land use and zoning laws (Napoleon, Kingsley, & Joan, 2011). …

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