Public Health Project Topics

An Analysis of Health and Environmental Impact of Land Fill Emission (A Case Study of the Aba Road Landfill in Owerri Imo State Nigeria)

An Analysis of Health and Environmental Impact of Land Fill Emission (A Case Study of the Aba Road Landfill in Owerri Imo State Nigeria)

Chapter One


The objective of this study is to determine and assess the environmental and health impacts of emissions. Specifically, the study aims at:

  1. Assessing the major types and sources of waste  in landfills in aba road Imo state
  2. Determining the health impact of landfill emissions on residences at aba road in Imo state
  3. Suggesting appropriate control method to minimize negative effects of landfills on human and the environment.



Differences between Landfills and Dumpsites

A sanitary landfill is an engineered system while a dump is a random site that allows the collection of waste. In most cases, construction of sanitary landfills do occur where groundwater and runoff is not the problem. Local municipalities and residents must be considered. Avoidance of burning, well trained staff and modern equipment must be provided. According to Emelda (2011) waste disposal is one of the biggest problems that the world is facing. In man’s everyday life, he produces waste materials which, if not properly managed, can lead to health and environmental problems. Governments are faced with finding the most effective waste disposal and management systems to use. A few decades ago when the human 14 population was not as large as it is today, waste disposal was easily managed. People used dumps which are excavated pieces of land or pits where waste materials are stored. Most households, especially those in rural areas, have dumps while urban communities have a common dump for their residents. Dumps are not regulated by the government and they lack processing control. They can be found anywhere and may or not be covered with soil. They are also not monitored and the chances of the liquid produced by solid waste contaminating the water supply are great. Open dumps can attract pests such as flies and rats and emit bad odours which are hazardous to man. Because of this, dumps are considered illegal and have since been replaced with landfills. Communal dumps have been converted to landfills which are regulated by the government. The ideal landfill is one which is confined to a small area and is covered with layers of soil. It is also required to have a liner at the bottom of the pit to prevent leachate or the liquid from solid waste to seep through and contaminate the water supply. Additionally, a landfill must have groundwater testing, leachate treatment systems, and it must be covered with soil daily to avoid the emission of unpleasant odours and invasion of pests. Once a landfill is filled, a new one is created. Old landfills can be sources of toxins which are caused by the inability of waste materials to rot naturally. Because landfills are good sources of recyclable materials, they draw scavengers who face the risk of being buried under the pile of rubbish if they are careless. While dumps and landfills are used to address the waste problems, in the long run they can become health and environmental hazards. In summary, a dump is an excavated piece of land used as storage for waste materials while a landfill is also an excavated piece of land for waste storage but is regulated by the government. It is smaller than a landfill. Dumps do not have leachate collection and treatment systems while a landfill does. 15 A landfill has a liner at the bottom to trap the liquid produced by solid waste while a dump does not have a liner. Landfills are covered daily with soil to deter pests and prevent bad smells from being released into the air. It also helps to control the speed of rot as water and air do not readily enter the landfill. Dumps on the other hand, are hardly covered speeding up the rot process and releasing toxic gases into the air. A sanitary landfill holds municipal solid waste, construction debris, and some type of agricultural and industrial waste. Liners prevent leachate from dripping out of a well-designed landfill. Landfills are basically designed in such a way that the garbage is stored without damaging the environment. Whereas, an open dump or dumpsite is essentially a large hole in the ground into which rubbish is dumped. The hole may be disused quarry, open cast mine or clay pit which is then used as a place to dump rubbish

 Landfill Systems in the Developing World

Landfills have been referred to as the ultimate means of survival for the less privileged people in developing countries of the world, especially in Africa. It also serves as alternative source of raw material for recycling, thereby giving substance to the adage that “One man’s meat is another’s poison”. These categories of people, called scavengers perceive waste in another perspective differing from the majority. They recognize waste as wealth and also as being the source of their means of survival. Competition even exists among the scavengers, to the extent that certain “payments” are made to the dump manager to grant access to the dumpsite for scavenging, especially in Lagos dumpsites. Different landfill systems exist globally. With respect to Africa as a continent the open dump approach is the primitive stage of landfill development and remains the predominant waste disposal option in most African countries. A default strategy for 16 municipal solid waste management, open dump involves indiscriminate disposal of waste and limited measures to control operation, including those related to environmental effects of landfills (Lars & Gavriels, 1999).

An operated or semi-controlled dump is often the first stage in a country’s effort to upgrade landfills (Koartel & Spillman, 2005). Controlled dumps operate with some form of inspection and recording of incoming wastes, practice extensive compaction of waste and control tipping front and application of soil cover. Operated dumps however implement only limited measures to mitigate other environmental impacts. Operated dumps still practice unmanaged contaminant 17 release and do not take into account environmental cautionary measures such as leachate and landfill gas management (Faullimmel, 2011). This is especially relevant where leachate is produced and is unconstrained by permeable underlying rock or fissured geology. This issue may be less critical in semi-arid and arid climate, where dumps do not generate leachate in measurable quantity (Lars & Gavriels 1999). However, as cities grow and produce waste and their solid waste collection system become more efficient, the environmental impact from open dumps becomes increasingly intolerable. The conversion of open or operated dumps to engineered and sanitary landfills is an essential step to avoid future costs from present mismanagement. The first step and challenge in upgrading open dumps to sanitary landfills involves reducing nuisance such as odour, dust, vermin and birds (Ouedraogo, 2005). The term sanitary landfill is generally used to describe a landfill that engages in waste compaction and apply daily soil cover to reduce nuisance. (Lars & Gavriels, 1999). Traditional landfills often referred to as “open” or “polluting” dump contains waste under the ground potentially allowing a waste by-product called leachate to enter and contaminate groundwater and other water sources. They also attract rodents, insect and other disease-carrying vermin. Other negative effects of open dump include emission of air pollution, odour and creation of potential fire hazards. In a sanitary landfill these risks are virtually eliminated.






In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.


Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.


According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.

This study was carried to examine an analysis of Health And Environmental impact of land fill Emission.  Aba Road landfill in Owerri Imo state Nigeria form the population of the study.




This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.




It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain An analysis of Health And Environmental impact of land fill Emission(A case study of the Aba Road landfill in owerri Imo state Nigeria). In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing an analysis of Health And Environmental impact of land fill Emission


This study was on an analysis of Health And Environmental impact of land fill Emission(A case study of the Aba Road landfill in Owerri Imo state Nigeria). Three objectives were raised which included:  Assessing the major types and sources of waste  in landfills in aba road Imo state, determining the health impact of landfill emissions on residences at aba road in Imo state  and Suggesting appropriate control method to minimize negative effects of landfills on human and the environment.. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from Owerri Imo state Nigeria. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).


On the basis of above discussion, landfill offers a great solution for waste that can be composted and not eligible for recycling. Landfill remains a dominant method of municipal waste management. Landfill continues to be one of the main method of waste disposal despite there relatively high potential to pollute the environment. Therefore regular landfill maintaining is required to identify and define landfill hazards for the environment. This research shows the necessity of identifying knowledge gaps and establishing bases for developing a more holistic framework of landfill risk analysis. It is evident that even if high levels of waste avoidance reuse and recycling are achieved. Some waste materials are always need to be forwarded for disposal. Therefore the concept of sustainable landfill should be implemented. A truly sustainable landfill is one in which the waste materials are safely assimilated into the surrounding environment.


Toward the control of land vulnerability to pollution through landfills, there is need for adequate and proper planning, design and construction, and strategic management disposal of waste. Ordinary landfills or dumpsites need to be outlawed and provision of modern sanitary landfills should be provided to ameliorate and alleviate the incessant groundwater contamination. Government is to locate new landfills away from the general population to avoid contamination of their water supply. Imo State as the most populous city in Africa should seek for national and international assistance in the area of modern technology for the implementation of better sustainable environmental sanitation practice.


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