A STUDY ON ENVIRONMENTAL HABITABILITY OF CORE RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBOURHOOD IN AKURE, NIGERIA
- Background of the study
The rapid urbanization process in Akure has its own consequences such as overcrowded dwellings, high rate of pollution, inadequate household facilities, and carefree attitude of people toward poor environmental conditions which have been the precondition for deteriorating environment. Akure emerged as the capital of the Ondo State Government as well as headquarters of the Akure Local Government Authority in 1976. This development made the town assumed the status of a metropolitan city. Like most other traditional centres in Nigeria, it has continued to witness haphazard development without conscious effort for physical planning. In spite of its many years of existence, the city has no physical development plan as different land uses juxtapose each other in a reflection of its traditional setting before and during colonial administration. This has contributed in no small measure to rapid deteriorating environmental conditions in the city. Presently, the city is characterized by the proliferation of squalid and slum conditions of environmental sanitation, overcrowd dwellings, poor waste disposal management, pollutions, inadequate water and unreliable power supply (Owoeye, 2006; Olanrewaju and Akinbamijo, 2002). Thus, the sanitation coverage has not been able to keep pace with the urban population growth. Most of the environmental sanitation institutions such as Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Ministry of Health, Local Government Health Delivery Institutions, and Primary Health Centres are not adequately equipped with sufficient materials required to cope with the increasing challenges of maintaining an environment free of health hazards and problems occasioned by poor sanitation. It is averred there is a strong people-environment relationship. The quality of man’s environment is an integral contributor to the overall quality of families and individuals life (Adedeji, 2005). It is expected that when the environmental sanitation standards of a city improves, there will be up liftment in the living condition and health security for the inhabitants. Thus, there will be improvement in the quality and aesthetic of the environment at large thereby making it habitable (Owoeye, 2013).
That many town planners and geographers now believe that no effort at all should be made to differentiate between the two (Okafor and Onokerhoraye, 1986). Rapid urbanization exerts strong impact on the peripheral areas in the wake of continuous urbanization and modernization processes with the increased demands they make for land, housing, physical infrastructural development and transportation can affect significant changes in the peripheral areas/settlements. Factors attributing these changes are as a result of the improvement of infrastructural facilities as well as associated with socio-economic development. These play crucial roles in organization and changes in peripheral areas near the urban centres. Generally, urbanization processes introduces radical changes in the pattern of most peripheral areas.For instance, a lot of villages are located near semi-urbanized settlements. In these areas, modern buildings are intermixed with traditional ones and modern infrastructure are put in place which brings changes in the way of life of the people, changes in occupation as well as in population composition. These areas may be characterized as the rural-urban fringes, which are described as zones of interpenetration of urban and rural environment or incorporated residential areas of non formal and formal dwellings outside the legal cities’ boundary (Mannion, 1997). Moniya is a notable town in Akinyele Local Government Area of Oyo State, which gradually becoming an urban centre with the influence of urban expansion from the core to the peripheral areas. Presently, Moniya is the headquarters of Akinyele LGA. This research undertaking is meant to highlight the various impact of urbanization on the peripheral zone of the study area. Generally, urbanization in Oyo State is associated with a variety of problems which may include pollution, high land value, poor planning leading to poor housing conditions and scattered developments, etc. These problems in turn would lead to environmental problems such as soil erosion, flooding and general environmental degradation. However, the study focuses on these problems as they are related to growth process of Moniya as a peri-urban neighborhood in Ibadan region. The thrust therefore is to investigate the housing condition and environmental quality of the town as well as the consequential effects on the residents.The need to enhance the living condition of people in any society cannot be over emphasised. Where people live is at the very core of their daily lives (Pollack et al., 2008) and the residential space of a person’s home plays a central role in shaping his health and well-being (Murphy, 2006). The health status of the people has serious consequences on the economy of the country where they reside, as a healthy workforce is a requirement for a vibrant economy. Unhealthy individual is not only unproductive but also cannot take care of himself and his dependents; he may eventually become an economic and security burden to the society. Researches such as Easterlow (2000), Ineichen (2003), Matte (2000), and Harka (2006) have shown that there is a link between the health status of people and their housing condition.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
WHO (2005) assessed the health profile of Nigerians and reported there is evidence that the key health indicators have either stagnated or worsened. Many Nigerians suffer from one health situation or the other The National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP) for the period 2010 to 2015 reported that the health status indicators for Nigeria are among the worst in the world and that health status of the population has declined, when compared with the indicators of a decade earlier NSHPD (2010). Tanaka et al. (1996), Lowry (1989), Malmström et al. it is in view of this that this study therefore attempts to examine the effects of environmental habitability of core residential neighborhood in Akure.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to ascertain the environmental habitability of core residential neighborhood in Akure. But for the successful completion of the study, the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;
- To ascertain the effect of environmental serenity on the inhabitant of Akure
- To ascertain the health implication of indiscriminate refused disposal on the environment
- To ascertain the habitability nature of Akure metropolis
- To proffer suggested solutions to the identified problem