AN ASSESSMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION IN THE CONTROL OF MOSQUITO BREEDING SITE IN OWERRI NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT
1.1 Background of the study
Globally, poor environmental quality is widely acknowledged as a serious hazard to social and economic growth, and even human existence. As opined by Adeniyi (2017), environmental degradation has a greater influence on emerging nations like Nigeria, hindering and disrupting socioeconomic progress. Daramola and Olowoporoku, (2016) asserts that the living environment is heavily contaminated as a result of the societal misbehaviors of indiscriminate littering, incorrect household wastewater discharge, and inadequate sewage disposal which is a clears attitude of poor sanitation. On the other hand, the essential components of environmental sanitation include: solid waste management; medical waste management; excreta and sewage management; food sanitation; sanitary inspection of premises; market and abattoir sanitation; adequate potable water supply; school sanitation; pest and vector control; management of urban drainage; control of reared and stray animals; disposal of the dead animals; weed and vegetation control; hygiene education and promotion.
Owing to the fact that one of the most reviled insects in the world, the mosquito is generally not very well thought of among people and scientists. These tiny, flying, bloodsucking insects earned their bad reputation because they can spread diseases such as malaria and the plague and also because mosquitoes can lurk anywhere and live inside your home without being detected for a number of days (Ileke, 2018). Mosquitoes are among the most important insect pests affecting the health of people and animals. Biting female mosquitoes not only irritate people and animals, but they can also transmit many disease-causing organisms. Therefore to control mosquitoes effectively, requires an optimally sanitized environment or one should be ready for malaria disease(Ileke, 2015).
Consequently, Malaria is principally caused by protozoa (Plasmodium species) and is transmitted through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito and within the tropics and sub-tropics, human malaria is seen to be the widest spread vector-borne disease (Owoeye & Adedeji 2018). Available statistics have documented that malaria is highly endemic in Nigeria with over 90% of the populace at risk of infection. It is the prime cause of 60% outpatient consultation for all age groups and at least half of the Nigerian populace are exposed to at least one bout of malaria attack every year. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO 2018), malaria transmission in Nigeria is abysmally high with over 76% of the population reporting more than 1 case per 1,000 populations annually. There was a less than 50% decrease in projected incidence of malaria from 2000–2015. Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo account for more than 35% of the global total of estimated malaria deaths.
An integrative approach , from a triad perspective which includes the agent, host and environment, researchers and scholars have encouraged the source reduction, elimination and eradication of mosquitoes breeding sites by concentrating on the environment. These tend to be essential because, the proliferation of mosquitoes continually perpetuate the transmission of malaria. So, it can be postulated that if the sources of mosquitoes breeding sites is eradicated or eliminated, malaria would be drastically reduced. This implies that good environmental sanitation practices could help mitigate malaria transmission, promote healthiness and improve quality of life of the populace.
In reality, providing proper sanitation facilities is better described as a means to an end, because the mindset and behavioral habits of stakeholders define the goal. The public's opinion of the importance of appropriate sanitation goes a long way toward offering desirable measures to reduce the repercussions. In general, poor sanitation practises can be caused by overcrowding, insufficient facilities and amenities, a lack of sanitation education and awareness, a low income level, and uncontrolled housing construction, among other factors. According to Sadalla , Swanson and Velesiw (2019), environmental problems may be created by poor facility provision and people' behavior in communities especially those located in developing countries. Despite its importance of sanitation in human existence, Musleh and Sudhir (2015) discovered that sanitation infrastructure and services are inadequate in poorer nations and a large number of people in these nations lack access to appropriate water supply, environmental sanitation services, and food security. To buttress further, Bindeshwar (2019) established the poor sanitation contributes to the "death of millions of children under the age of five every year; and about 50 illnesses are related with inadequate sanitation." Individuals' poor environmental activities also contribute to this threat.
1.2 Statement of the problem
In recent years, environmental degradation has a devastating influence on emerging countries, stifling and undermining their progress. Intriguingly, progress in sanitation and improved hygiene has greatly improved health, but many people still have no adequate means of appropriately disposing their wastes. As observed by Ogawa (2015), this is a growing nuisance for heavily populated areas with the risk of infectious disease like malaria caused by mosquito bite, particularly to vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, and people suffering from diseases who have low resistance. Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease caused by a Plasmodium parasite. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die. In 2015 an estimated 212 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 429,000 people died, mostly children in the African Region. Malaria is diverstating families, made poor; poorer and costs the nation about 140 billion naira annually”. It hampers children’s schooling and social development in general. Nwakile, Eze, & Okanya (2017) averred that poorly controlled waste also means daily exposure to an unpleasant environment, waterborne and filth-borne illnesses, including diarrhoea, cholera, and malaria. These lead to the loss of lives and man-hours, resulting in massive losses to economic growth and development.
In response to improves environmental practices, Adimekwe (2013) asserts that good sanitation behaviour and the availability of facilities and services must work in tandem to establish optimal environmental sanitation practices. However both urban and rural areas have in recent times witness poor sanitation behavior impacted by a variety of circumstances such as inadequate hygiene education, neglect of health facilities, insufficient water supply, inadequate toilet/latrine facilities, lack of dustbins for disposing wastes, throwing rubbish anywhere in the streets, inadequate funds to provide sanitation equipment and poor waste storage methods adopted which has a posed a detrimental effect on the health of the resident such as such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid, intestinal worm infections and polio, spread of antimicrobal resistance, acute respiratory infection, trachoma and malnutrition through fecal contamination of food and water.
Although several researches have been carried on environmental sanitation and practices and how problems of environmental sanitation are not limited to a particular residential zone, scholars have looked forwards to more current interest on the assessment of environmental sanitation in the control of mosquito breeding site in Owerri North Local Government.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The general objective is to carry out an assessment of environmental sanitation in the control of mosquito breeding site in Owerri North Local Government. The specific objectives are:
To know the rate of malaria infection among inhabitants of Owerri North Local Government.
To investigate if inhabitants of Owerri North Local Government adopt an effective environmental sanitation.
To ascertain if inhabitants of Owerri North Local Government know the implications of indiscriminate waste on mosquito breeding site.
To find out the if high level of efficiency in the waste management serves as a control of mosquito breeding site
1.4 Research questions
The relevant research questions related to this study are:
What is the rate of malaria infection among inhabitants of Owerri North Local Government?
Do inhabitants of Owerri North Local Government know the implications of indiscriminate waste on mosquito breeding site?
Do the inhabitants of Owerri North Local Government adopt an effective environmental sanitation?
Can high level of efficiency in the waste management serves as a mechanism control of mosquito breeding site in Owerri North Local Government?
1.5 Significance of the study
The importance of clean environment to a healthy living condition for man cannot be over-emphasized. This has necessitated the need for effective and regular sanitation activities the world over. The provision of adequate sanitation facilities, urban infrastructure and enabling environmental sanitation policies influence the achievement of a high quality living condition for man and his environment. Considering the significant of the environment on the control and prevention of mosquito breeding sites, this study was aimed at assessing environmental sanitation practices on malaria prevention and control in Owerri North Local Government, Lagos State. The findings in this study are also important to the government because it elucidates the need for government to provide an effective waste management and control scheme. This study will enhance the existing body of literature by contemplating the areas of the literature that have not yet been examined or considered and incorporating these factors into the current study. The study will thus form the basis for further studies in the field.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study is limited to the assessment of environmental sanitation in the control of mosquito breeding site in Owerri North Local Government. The study will further ascertain if inhabitants of Owerri North Local Government, know the implications of indiscriminate waste on mosquito breeding site and also find out the if high level of efficiency in the waste management serves as a control of mosquito breeding site.
1.7 Limitation of the study
During the process of carrying out this study, the researcher was confronted with a number of obstacles, some of which were limitations pertaining to time and finances, as well as difficulties pertaining to language and the attitudes of the respondents. Nevertheless, the researchers were able to overcome these obstacles in order to guarantee the success of this investigation. In addition, the case study approach that was used in the research presented the investigator with a number of difficulties, such as the chance of making erroneous judgments and being subject to prejudice. In spite of this, the investigator was successful in overcoming the difficulties by adhering to the broad principles of respect for processes, justice, fairness, impartiality in observation and recording, and the weighing of evidence.
1.8 Definition of terms.
Sanitation: Sanitation refers to public health conditions related to clean drinking water and treatment and disposal of human excreta and sewage. It involves the the promotion of hygiene and prevention of disease by maintenance of sanitary/clean conditions while hygiene relates to the practice of hand-washing with soap after defecation and disposal of child faeces, prior to preparing and handling food.
Sanitation practices: Sanitation practices includes the provision and use of facilities and services that safely dispose of human urine and faeces, thereby preventing contamination of the environment
Environmental Health: environmental health is the branch of public health that: focuses on the relationships between people and their environment; promotes human health and well-being; and fosters healthy and safe communities.