1.1BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The quantity and generation rate of solid wastes in Nigeria have increased over at an alarming rate over the years with lack of efficient and modern technology for the management of the wastes. The generation rate, collection and disposal of solid wastes are functions of several factors which if well considered and appropriated could bring the desired solution to the waste management problems in Nigeria. This chapter contains a brief description of the problem of study, background to the problem, purpose of the study and research questions. Significance and scope of the study were also discussed in this chapter. By definition, solid wastes could be defined as a non-liquid and non-gaseous products of human activities, regarded as being useless. It could take the forms of refuse, garbage and sludge(Leton and Omotosho, 2004).
Abuja Municipal Area Council(AMAC) is located in the Federal Capital Territory and the city of Abuja. The residential and indigenous inhabitants of AMAC is worth an estimated projection of about 2.5million people drawn from all over Nigeria and the spheres of the world. Historically, certain areas of AMAC have indeed enjoyed better solid waste management services than others. A major aspect highlighted by Mabogunje(2001) is the decision taken by the government to house incoming civil servants in the “Accelerated district” meant for construction workers after Abuja became the nation’s capital. With the district taken over by civil servants, alternative accommodation had to be found. A decision was made by the government to build a labor camp at Nyanya. This proved inadequate and was followed by the emergence of shantytowns. These settlements developed rapidly and were generally unplanned, overcrowded and lacking basic amenities(ibid). the result was severe stress on facilities, environmental degradation and water supply(Adejuwon 2001). Other contributory factors include the delay by the government in resettling the indigenous population. For example, Nyanya was to be relocated to a new location called “New Nyanya” but this has not been done. Today, it is described as the fastest growing slum in the country as a result of waste mess in the area, so also are other satellite towns in AMAC in places like Karmo, Gwagwa, Jikwoyi, Karu where large numbers of dumps are found in just any open space within these zones. However over the years till date, little or no attention has been given to these areas in managing their wastes and the sustainability of a healthy environment to breed upon rather solid waste generation only gets worse by the years leaving the inhabitants at the mercy of individual truck pushers who get a token for their services yet dispose these collected wastes at ill sites heaping dumps which constitute an eyesore to the environment and hazardous to the health of the people.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The streets of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city are planned with walkways well carved out, some with manicured lawns. This sense of of order is however being threatened in satellite towns of AMAC. The rate of solid waste generation is increasingly becoming a major threat to the well being of not only the city but the residents. For example, the inappropriate disposal of healthcare waste is today a major cause of infection among healthcare workers and members of the public. The disposal of solid wastes from households across the city is not any better. While homes and offices within the municipality enjoy the luxury of having their garbage cleared by paid waste disposal contractors, their counterparts in satellite areas of AMAC such as Kabusa, Nyanya, Karu, Jikwoyi make use of local truck pushers commonly referred to as “mai bola” (hausa name for refuse collector). They move from door to door to collect refuse in hand-driven trucks for a token. However, how they dispose off the refuse is raising concerns among the...