Mr Abubakar M. Miftahu

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PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT IN THE TAMALE METROPOLIS OF THE NORTHERN REGION OF GHANA BACKGROUND AND PROBLEM STATEMENT
Solid waste disposal and management is both an urban and rural problem. Every person is a potential generator of waste and thus a contributor to this problem. Tchobanoglous et al (1993) {cited in Puopiel (2010:8)} defines solid waste as “any material which comes from domestic, commercial, and industrial sources arising from human activities which has no value to people who possess it and is discarded as useless”. Rapid population growth and urbanization have been noted as the factors that affect greatly solid waste management in urban centers, particularly in developing countries (Oteng-Ababio, 2011). This is as a result of the fact that, more often than not, the rapid increase in population in urban centers is not usually accompanied by a corresponding increase in resources for effective solid waste management (Oteng-Ababio, 2011; Shukor et al.2011). In Ghana, solid waste is ultimately disposed of in both authorized and unauthorized waste dumps. All kinds of wastes, regardless of their nature, are being dumped indiscriminately into depressions, sand pits, old quarries, beaches, drains and even in certain areas, along streets, without due regards to the nuisance and harm caused to the environment (GEPA, 2002). These conditions lead to the proliferation of vermin and disease vectors, and increase environmental health risks. Health and social side effects are equally as important as environmental impacts when considering Solid Waste Management (Gladding, 2002). Tamale metropolis is the fourth largest city in Ghana with a growth rate of 3.5% (TAMA, 2007) and Puopiel (2010) notes that about 810 tons of solid wastes are generated daily in the Tamale metropolis, and out of this, only 216 tones are hauled every day, leaving a backlog of 594 tones which are disposed of indiscriminately in the entire metropolis. Waste is generated by,...
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