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Environmental and Health Impact of Solid Waste Disposal in Developing Cities: A Case Study of Granville Brook Dumpsite, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Author(s): Foday Pinka Sankoh | Xiangbin Yan | Tran Quang Yen

Journal: Journal of Environmental Protection
ISSN 2152-2197

Volume: 04;
Issue: 07;
Start page: 665;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Environment | Health | Solid Waste Disposal | Dumpsite | Pollution

Indiscriminate disposal of solid waste in dumpsites located within urban areas has proved to be a problem to nearby residents in most developing cities of the world, Freetown is no exception. Open dumps have environmental safeguards; they can pose major public health threats and environmental effects in urban cities. Therefore, this paper presents the findings of a research carried out in Freetown municipal area in Sierra Leone to determine the environmental and health impacts of solid waste disposal at Granville Brook dumpsite on the surrounding human settlements. Data were collected from three hundred and ninety eight nearby dumpsite household residents (less than fifty metres) and two hundred and thirty three far away household residents (more than fifty metres) through the use of structured self-administered questionnaires. Interviews and personal observations were also used to collect some of the data. Descriptive statistics involving tables, graphs and figures were used to present and analyze the data. Results show that both nearby residents and far away residents suffered from related diseases such as malaria, chest pains, diarrhea and cholera, due to the location of the dumpsite closer to their settlements. As a result, this study highlights the need for the Freetown City Council to properly manage and relocate the dumpsite to a safe distance from all human settlements, and provide resettlement and environmental education programmes for all persons living less than fifty metres away from the dumpsite as interim measures.
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