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This study examined the problems of Solid Waste Management in Nigeria. To achieve this purpose, a stratified and systematic random sampling technique was used to draw the sample from the six geopolitical zones of the country namely North-West, North-East, North-Central, South-West, South-East and South-South. From each zone a state was selected; thus the total number of  states involved in the study was six. Based on the findings of this study ,the results showed that, there were problems to effective collection, storage and disposal of solid wastes in Nigeria. Also funds available for the collection, storage and disposal of solid wastes in Nigeria were grossly inadequate. The results further showed that, there were inadequacies in the management of the available funds in the respective agencies for the collection, storage and disposal of solid wastes in Nigeria. It was also revealed in the study that available facilities and equipment for collection, storage and disposal of solid wastes are grossly inadequate in all the agencies in Nigeria. Although there are professionals and competent personnel in the agencies, the results showed that, their number was not commensurate with the required activities of the agencies in terms of collection, storage and disposal of the solid wastes generated in the states.Based on the results obtained, it was   recommended that governments should endeavour to provide basic facilities and equipment, funds, personnel especially the lower cadre and ensure effective process of adequate utilization of the available funds and ensure proper accountability at all levels in the collection, storage and disposal of solid wastes in Nigeria.



1.1       Background to the Study

The management of urban solid wastes constitutes one of the immediate and serious  environmental problems  facing  governments in  African cities  (Baumgartner,

2003).  The  conventional  municipal  solid  waste  management  approach,  based  on collection and disposal, has failed to provide efficient and effective services to all urban residents (Vancini, 2000). The urban environment steadily degrades due to large volumes of waste which are not efficiently managed.  In Nigeria, it is common to find large heaps of garbage and other wastes all over the cities. Abugo (1999) reported that 35% of Ibadan’s household, 33% of Kaduna’s and 44% of Enugu’s do not have access to waste collection and disposal services. Odeyemi and Onibokun (1997) described Lagos as the dirtiest capital in the world. In most parts of the cities, streets are partially or wholly blocked by solid wastes. Similarly, open spaces and market places are littered with solid wastes. In most cases, drains are clogged or totally blocked and many compounds are hemmed in by solid wastes.   However,   this deplorable situation is not peculiar to Nigerian cities.

The concern over solid waste is generated from an aesthetic desire to live in a clean environment and also from the realization that a dirty and cluttered environment is unhealthy and unsafe for the population. This is evident in the incorporation of environmental sanitation as a component of primary health care adopted by the World Health Organization at the Alma Ata Declaration in September, 1978 (WHO, 1978). This was also clearly pointed out at the Istanbul Declaration and the Habitat Agenda for 1988. It was stated that sustainable human settlements depend on the creation of better environment for human health and wellbeing which will improve the living conditions of people and of their lives (United Nations for Human Settlement, 1998).

In spite of the landmark achievements recorded by the developed countries, they are still faced with the potential risks to health and to environment from handling solid and  liquid  wastes.

In Nigeria, the problem of solid waste is manifested with its consequent effects on pollution of water, air and land with the hazards to health and other natural resources of social and economic importance (Federal Ministry of Housing and Environment, 1982).

There has been an increasing concern about the serious health implications from waste management in Nigeria. Some priority programmes embarked upon by FEPA include waste management education, awareness and publication of relevant information, commitment of appreciable amount of fund, renewal of equipment/facilities and training of manpower. However, solid waste management is still one of  the most serious challenges facing the country. This research therefore, tried to find out the problems of solid waste management in Nigeria.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

When wastes are not collected, in sanitary conditions develop and pose environmental and human health risks. The prevalence of parasites, vectors, tetanus, malaria, hookworm, cholera and diarrhea in most African cities is attributed to the in sanitary conditions in these cities (Agbola,1997 ). Mentel (2006) observed that malaria, diarrhea, intestinal worms and upper respiratory tract infections were among the most common health problems reported at out- patient facilities in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. In the city of Accra, major health problems are diseases attributed to poor environmental sanitation, which is exacerbated by ignorance and poverty (Vancini,2000). In Tanzania, Pohjola and Tanskanee (1998) reported that poor sanitation, and improper waste disposal practices result in the spread of infectious diseases, which are believed to be the most frequent causes of  morbidity and mortality.

Wastes dump into storm drainage channels, creeks, lagoons and other water impoundment points create serious environmental problems which can result into disastrous situations. The loss of lives and property, which occurred due to the 1982, 2010 and 2011 floods in Ibadan, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Aba, Kano, Jigawa and Sokoto were attributed to the accumulation of refuse which blocked drainage channels(Love,2002).

The alarming rate at which heaps of solid wastes continue to occupy our cities, coupled with the fact that 87% of Nigerians still  use disposal methods, adjudged to be in sanitary, has not only constituted visual blight and odour nuisance, but also encouraged the breeding of rodents, mosquitoes and other pests of public health importance, which lead  to  disease  outbreaks  in  Nigeria(Johnstone,2000). The  ineffectiveness of contemporary municipal solid waste management practices,( which culminates in a number of health and environmental problems), has necessitated the need to evaluation of solid waste management practices among the Health workers and Head of house hold in Nigerian cities.

1.3       Research Questions

Specifically, this research attempts, to find answers to the following questions:

           How adequate are funds provided for solid waste management in Nigeria?

           How adequate are facilities/equipment provided for solid waste management in


           How adequate are personnel for solid waste management in Nigeria?

         How   is   the   existing   policy  on   environmental  issues   affect   solid   waste management in Nigeria?

           What  is  the  level of  community participation in  solid waste management in


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