Urban environmental problems in Ghana: a case study of social and environmental injustice in solid waste management in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi

Baabereyir, Anthony (2009) Urban environmental problems in Ghana: a case study of social and environmental injustice in solid waste management in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Unsustainable urbanization in Ghana has resulted in poor environmental conditions in urban settlements in the country. Solid waste disposal, in particular, has become a daunting task for the municipal authorities who seem to lack the capacity to tackle the mounting waste situation.

This study investigates the nature of the solid waste problem in two Ghanaian cities, Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi. It describes the waste situation in the study areas and identifies the causes of the problem from the perspective of key stakeholders in the waste sector. The delivery of solid waste collection services across different socio-economic groups of the urban population and the siting of waste disposal facilities are also examined in relation to the concepts of social justice and environmental justice respectively.

For the empirical investigation, a mixed methodology was used which combined questionnaire and interview data from stakeholders in the waste sector, together with documentary and observational data, to examine the issue of solid waste disposal in the two study sites. The key issues identified by the study include: that Ghanaian cities are experiencing worsening solid waste situations but the municipal governments lack the capacities in terms of financial, logistical and human resources to cope with the situation; that while several causes of the urban waste crisis can be identified, the lack of political commitment to urban environmental management is the root cause of the worsening solid waste situation in Ghanaian cities; and that social and environmental injustices are being perpetuated against the poor in the delivery of waste collection services and the siting of waste disposal facilities in Ghanaian cities. Based on these findings, it has been argued that the solution to the worsening environmental conditions in Ghanaian cities lies in the prioritization of urban environmental management and commitment of Ghana’s political leadership to urban settlement development and management.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:O'Hara, S.L.
Jewitt, S.L.
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Geography
ID Code:847
Deposited By:Mr Anthony Baabereyir
Deposited On:26 Nov 2009 13:22
Last Modified:26 Nov 2009 13:22

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