Proliferation of Unsanitary Solid Waste Dumpsites in Urban and Sub-Urban Areas in Nigeria: Need for the Construction of Regional Sanitary Landfills

E. E. Nkwocha
A. C. Emeribe

DOI: 10.2190/ES.31.4.b


The proliferation of uncontrolled solid waste dumpsites in Nigeria has become a major public health concern. This study was carried out in fourteen towns in the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones. In each of these towns, a systematic survey was carried out to identify, enumerate and characterize dumpsites in terms of age, nature of site, distance from roads and human habitations, and operational methods. Information was obtained through sidewalk surveys, mechanical counts and measurements, photographic records and careful observation. Results showed that the dumpsites served as conventional "landfills"; as they received all sorts of wastes which were neither sorted out nor controlled. The dumpsites have variable ages, are located on voids, gullies, river banks, and swampy areas, provide breeding grounds for disease vectors, and pose significant dangers to human health and environment. The study recommended the setting up of a National Landfill Development Commission to improve the effectiveness of programs and instruments for new regional landfill projects in Nigeria.

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