An Analysis of Municipal Solid Waste in Kano Metropolis, Nigeria

An Analysis of Municipal Solid Waste in Kano Metropolis, Nigeria
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  © Kamla-Raj 2010   J Hum Ecol, 31(2):   111-119 (2010) An Analysis of Municipal Solid Waste inKano Metropolis, Nigeria Aliyu Baba Nabegu  Department of Geography, Kano University of Science and Technology,Wudil, Kano State, Nigeria E-mail: KEYWORDS  Waste Density. Waste Recycling. Waste Generation. Waste Composition. Waste Disposal. WasteManagement ABSTRACT This paper reports the result of municipal solid waste analysis undertaken in Kano metropolis throughthe collection of secondary data from the government agency (Refuse Management and Sanitation Board, REMASAB)responsible for the management of solid waste, interviews with stakeholders and field surveys specifically to addressthe apparent gap in this information that is crucial for successful management. Field surveys were carried out in threeresidential zones that are representative samples of the city to understand the practice and identify the lacunae. Theresults show that the household sector in Kano metropolis produces the largest amount of waste in the city accountingfor 62.5% and the waste generated by various institutions in Kano accounts for only 5.8%, while industries locatedwithin residential areas contributed 2.9%. It is estimated that Kano metropolis generates about 3085 tones of solidwaste per day. It is also found that Kano metropolis’s solid waste consists to a large extent of organic and otherbiodegradable matter (43%) and constitutes 68.26% by weight of solid waste generated in the study area. The resultsindicate that that solid waste is not properly managed since there is no ideal landfill and recycling is limited. The paperhighlighted the implications of the result for the environment and sustainable management of solid waste. Forexample, because of poor management ,the waste emits dangerous gases into the atmosphere and bacterial isolateswere recovered from the waste sample, three of which were coliform bacterial (E. coli,   Klebsielle  sp and Shigella sp.) . It is recommended, among other things, that the government should put in place facilities and opportunities toenhance proper management of solid waste and promote recycling and reuse of waste and should embark onenvironmental awareness campaigns to sensitize the citizen develop the right attitude about waste disposal. 1. INTRODUCTION Proper management of solid waste is criticalto the health and well-being of urban residents(World Bank 2003). In Kano metropolis ,like mostcities in the developing world, several tons of municipal solid waste is left uncollected on thestreets each day, clogging drains, creating feedingground for pests that spread disease and creatinga myriad of related health and infrastructuralproblems. A substantial part of the urbanresidents in the old city and suburban informalsettlements of Kano metropolis also have little orno access to solid waste collection services. Thisis due to lack of proper land use planning whichresulted in the creation of informal settlementswith narrow streets that make it difficult forcollection trucks to reach many areas. The resultis that a large portion of the population is leftwithout access to solid waste managementmaking them particularly vulnerable (Nabegu2008a).Municipal solid waste management is animportant part of the urban infrastructure thatensures the protection of environment and humanhealth (World Bank 2002, 2003). The acceleratedgrowth of urban population with unplannedurbanization, increasing economic activities andlack of training in modern solid waste managementpractices in developing countries complicates theefforts to improve solid waste services. Thechanges in consumption patterns with alterationsin the waste characteristics have also resulted ina quantum jump in solid waste generation(Ludwig et al. 2003). In addition, solid wastemanagement is hampered by a lack of data at alllevels from the ward, district and municipality,and where available, is generally unreliable,scattered and unorganized (World Bank 2002,2003). As a result, planning of solid wastemanagement has remained a difficult task.Some studies have been carried out on wastemanagement in Kano metropolis. Saleh (2008)studied the contributions made by scavengersand showed that over 25,000 people are directlyinvolved in the activity and that 15% of municipalsolid waste that would have gone in to themunicipal solid waste stream is removed by them.Nabegu (2008) investigated the operations of thestate agency responsible for waste management  112 ALIYU BABA NABEGU in the metropolis and reported that a significantportion of the population, 80%, does not haveaccess to waste collection services, only 20% of the waste generated is actually collected and vastmajority of users of the service 92% consider theservice very poor. The economic potentials andorganization of the informal plastic wasterecovery sector was also studied which showedthat besides being a source of livelihood for nearly30,000 individuals, it provides cheap raw materialsfor plastic industries (Mukhtar 2008).Composition of municipal solid wasteprovides a description of the constituents of thewaste and it differs widely from place to place(Kuruparan et al. 2003). The most strikingdifference is the difference in organic contentwhich is much higher in the low income areasthan the high income, while the paper and plasticcontent is much higher in high income areas thanlow income areas. This reflects the difference inconsumption pattern, cultural and educationaldifferences. In higher income areas disposablematerial and packaged food are used in higherquantities; this results in the waste having highercalorific value, lower specific density and lowermoisture content. In the case of lower incomeareas, the usage of fresh vegetables to packagedfood is much higher. This results in a wastecomposition that has high moisture content, highspecific weight and low calorific value (Dhussaet al. 2000; Klundert and Scheinberg 2001).The ‘blind technology transfer’ of machineryfrom developed countries to developing countriesand its subsequent failure has brought attentionto the need for appropriate technology (Beukeringet al. 1999) to suit the conditions in developingcountries (type of waste, composition, etc.).Identification of waste composition is thus, crucialfor the selection of the most appropriatetechnology for treatment, taking essential healthprecautions and space needed for the treatmentfacilities. Despite this recognition, there has beenno study on the analysis of municipal wastecomposition in Kano metropolis. This paperattempts to fill this gap by providing data on thecomposition, and sources of municipal waste inthree different zones of the city for the purposeof understanding the type of waste generated,waste flow and implication for management. 2. STUDY AREA AND METHODOLOGY  Kano is the largest city in the Sudan Regionof Nigeria. It is located between latitude 12 o  25 to12 o  40N and longitude 8 o  35N to 8 o  45E. Kano cityhas for centuries been the most important com-mercial and industrial nerve centre of NorthernNigeria attracting millions from all parts of thecountry and beyond. Immigration and naturalgrowth rate of 3% is expected to continue toincrease the population and waste stream in theyears to come. With a population presentlyestimated at 3.5 million, Kano metropolis is amongthe fastest growing cities in Nigeria. With apopulation density of about 1000 inhabitants perkm 2  within the Kano closed-settled zone compar-ed to the national average of 267 inhabitants perkm 2 . It is also one of the most crowded. The cityalso has a large migrant worker population whichhas been increasing at the rate of 30 to 40 percent per annum (UNDP 2004). These figuresindicate that waste generation is likely to besignificant in Kano metropolis and that itsmanagement would require innovative strategies.The climate of the study area is the tropicalwet and dry Aw by Koppen’s classification.Climatic factors play a crucial role in the municipalwaste management of the study area. Forexample, during the wet season, heat andhumidity cause the municipal solid waste to be of higher moisture content thus increasing theweight of the refuse. In addition, high humiditywith heat causes the organic portion of the wasteto decompose quickly leading to problems inhandling and disposal, which directly affects theenvironmental health of the waste workers andthe inhabitants.The study was organized in stages as follows: Stage 1 :  This stage involved a desk study inwhich documents and records relating tomunicipal solid waste management in Kanometropolis, by the Refuse Management andSanitation Board (REMASAB), were studied toobtain background information as well as dataon existing municipal solid waste management inthe city. Stage 2 :  This stage involved interviews withdepartment heads from REMASAB. Informationobtained was used to update the data collectedduring the desk study. The questionnaire wasstructured to capture the operation, finance,management; problem and future projection of the agency and the understanding of the staff of the agency on the identified problems werecaptured from the questionnaire. Stage 3 :  Twenty- five residents, each from  113 AN ANALYSIS OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE IN KANO METROPOLIS, NIGERIA three identified residential zones selected , whichrepresents 10% of the total residents that volun-teered to provide information. The questionsasked during the interviews were tailored to deriveinformation on coverage of the service, avai-lability of disposal/collection points, generalassessment of the services, perceived problemsas well as solutions, willingness to pay for theservices etc and examination of household wastegeneration through segregation and physicalseparation of waste components over a period of three month. To determine sample locationswithin Kano metropolis, a basic knowledge of theurban area of Kano was helpful, guided by theassertion of Gordon (1983) that an urban area isusually defined to comprise of three levels withinwhich data could be collected: the city proper (inthis study the old walled city), metropolitantransition area (in this study the G.R.A.) and urbanagglomeration (in this study suburban area).Identified residential zones were subdivided intoequal grids using Kano metropolis as base map.Table of Random Numbers was used to choosethe study areas.In addition to the above, twenty- five peopleinvolved in scavenging which represents 14%of those in the activity that were willing to partakein the study were randomly selected for interview.Morphological and Biochemical tests to identifythe bacterial isolates were carried out on samplescollected from dump sites in the three identifiedzones in accordance with methods described byCorry et al. (1982). Bulk density, weight and wastecomposition was determined by manual separa-tion and weighing to determine the bulk charac-teristics of the different samples. Stage 4 :  The researcher also participated inthe day to day operation of the agency duringwhich valuable operational difficulties wereexperienced firsthand. 3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION3.1 Sources of Municipal Solid Waste Table 1 shows the contribution of identifiedsources of municipal solid waste in Kanometropolis .  The household sector in Kanometropolis produces the largest amount of wastein the city accounting for 62.5%. This is incontrast to a study of Bangalore, India, wherecommercial sector was reported to account forthe largest amount of 39% (Rotich et al. 2006;Ramachandra and Bachamanda 2007). Thedifferences between Kano and Bangalore can beexplained by the fact that even though the twocities are in developing countries, enormousvariation exists in the level of developmentbetween them in terms of the size of the middleclass where Bangalore has 28% of its urbanpopulation made up of middle class and Kanometropolis less 8%. There is also a difference inculture which impacts on the sources and typesof waste generation.The waste generated by various institutionslocated in Kano accounts for only about 5.8 percent. Industries located within residential areasgenerate a small amount of solid waste, 2.9% andmost of it is recovered for recycling and reuse,and only a small per cent finds its way into thecity waste stream. S. No.SourcesPercentage 1Residential62.52Commercial26.93Industrial2.94Institutional5.85Others1.9 Source:  Fieldwork 2007 Table 1: Sources of municipal solid waste in Kanometropolis 3.2 Waste Type, Composition and Quantum According to estimates, by the state agencyresponsible for waste management in Kanometropolis, the city generates currently approxi-mately 3,000 tones of solid waste per day. How-ever, from the research, it was estimated that Kanometropolis generates about 3085 tones of solidwaste per day. The difference is mainly due to thefact that in this study, waste from industrieslocated within residential areas is also consideredas a compo-nent of the total urban solid wastegenerated in Kano metropolis.From the samples of solid wastes collectedfrom the different dump sites and sampledhouseholds in the three zones, eight differenttypes of wastes were categorized. These are foodscarp, paper cardboard, textile and rubber, plasticmaterial, glass, metal, ash and dirt and vege-tables. Table 2 shows the different categories of waste observed in the three residential zones of Kano metropolis.Analysis of waste type shows that Kanometropolis’s solid waste consists to a large extentof organic and other biodegradable matter (43 %)  114 ALIYU BABA NABEGU materials are segregated at source for reuse(Nabegu 2008b).However, despite the low presence of non-biodegradable wastes in the dump sites, it hasnonetheless, led to economic utilization of suchwastes, since the recycling and re-use of non-biodegradable wastes into new forms is now acommon practice. Though informally organized,it provides a substantial employment in view of the fact that a ready market exists in the manyindustrial enterprises located in Kano. It wasestimated that there are roughly 25,000 wastepickers in the city whose average per capitacollection is about 15 kilograms per day. Collectingabout 312 tones of waste per day, the wastepickers recover about 10 % of waste generated.The waste collected goes to various small andlarge recycling units located in the city. Formalinvolvement of government in this sector will inno small way help reduce youth unemploymentand reduce the volume of waste and provide cheapraw material to industry (Saleh 2008; Mukhtar2008; Nabegu 2008a). 3.3 Waste Bulk and Density Further analysis of waste reveal that the wastein Kano metropolis can be categorized in to twotypes: namely, the rather light and predominantlynon-biodegradable waste in the G.R.A.and theheavier biodegradable waste in the city and thesuburban zones. Table 3 shows the percentagebulk weight of the different items of waste in thethree zones. Biodegradable wastes accounts for68.26% of the average weight of the entire wastesamples, while the non-biodegradable had31.74%, showing clearly the predominant wastein Kano metropolis is biodegradable. However,marked variations exist among the zones. Thus,in the GRA, a total of 57.84% of the waste consistsof non-biodegradable, whereas the city has only20% and the suburban zone 22.86%. Differencesin the type of waste among the zones reflect thedifferences in standard of living and consumptionpattern between the zones.The study shows a specific density of 0.31m 3 and average weight of 564kg/ in a cubic meter inG.R.A., while in the city the yield was 923kg percubic meter with a specific density of 0.55tm3 andin the suburban zones it was 1030kg per cubicmeter with a specific density of 0.63t/m 3 . Howeverfrom comparative studies from Kaduna and Jos,the two biggest cities close to Kano, domesticand the 57% non biodegradable made up of substantially dirt, ash and other household trash- typical of low income developing country(Ramachandra and Bachanda 2007). Due to thecomposition of the waste, especially the findingsin this study of substantial presence of faecalmatter in the waste, many health and environ-mental issues are foreseen.Biodegradable wastes which are generated invery high quantity, could however, be divertedfrom the dumpsites and landfills, effectivelyreducing the bulk of municipal solid waste fordisposal and the space required for the purposecausing a reduction in the municipal expenses.The diverted organic waste could be utilized byadopting appropriate technologies for processingit into bio-fertilizers or as a source of green energy.While promoting sustainability, it would helpprevent the degradation of the urban environ-ment. By integrating the principles of sustain-ability and resource efficiency into our consumerculture, we can begin a transition away from theend-of-the-pipe practice of waste disposal, suchas containment, remediation and pollution controlto a process that maximizes recovery of resources,eliminates toxic materials, prevents pollution, andminimizes the economic liabilities associated withenvironmental degradation and clean-upactivities. Waste management invest-ments canthen be shifted to resource recovery anddevelopment strategies that could relieve thegovernments of the heavy burden of financingand managing the waste disposal systems.The percentage of recyclables like paper,glass, plastics, metals, cardboard, packagingmaterial and rubber is negligible. Although econo-mic prosperity is one reason for the generation of more recyclables waste materials, as observed indeveloped countries (Chandarasekar 2002), thelow content in Kano metropolis may also beexplained by the fact that traditionally such waste CategoriesCityG.R.A.Suburban Food scrap38540Paper cardboard6345Textile rubber7104Plastic material10176Metal5203Glass7121Ash, dirt18120Vegetable9121 Source:  Fieldwork 2007 Table 2: Waste type and composition in threeresidential zones of Kano metropolis
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