Urban waste management in developing economy: a case of Kumasi- Ghana

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The protection of health and the environment through proper management of waste is increasingly becoming a priority in most countries today. The corner stone of any waste management is the provision of appropriate and adequate collection and disposal facilities for the management of waste generated. The study seeks to investigate into waste collection, transportation and disposal facilities that are in use, specifically in Kumasi Metropolis. Also management problems faced by the Waste Management Department of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA-WMD) are considered. On the basis of field observation and interviews of 15O households, it was revealed that, the refuse collection facilities were inadequate among the middle and low income areas. Using X2 contingency test, it is revealed that distance walked to disposal sites or refuse collection points has influence on disposal habit. The statistical X2 = 16.92 and the X2 calc = 55.88 showing a significant influence of distance walked to disposal points on disposal habit. The test indicates that the refuse collection facilities are inadequate and that some residents in middle and low income areas have to walk longer distance to dispose of their refuse. The inadequacy of the collection facilities among middle and low income residential areas has resulted in a situation where refuse are dispose at unauthorized places. It is recommended that adequate refuse collection containers be provided to serve residents in middle and low income residential areas. Further, using simple proportion to calculate the present capacity of KMA-WMD waste collection services, it was revealed that the capacity of KMA-WMD fall short of achieving satisfactory waste management services. The KMA-WMD would need an extra 42 communal collection containers, 8 refuse collection vehicles and a daily amount of 17.33 million cedis before the Department can effectively collect and dispose of refuse generated daily in Kumasi. The study recommends that private sector be encouraged to take part in waste management services to complement KMA-WMD waste management services and also to ensure efficiency. Again an intensification of education on sanitation programs and community participation in the planning and finding of solution to waste management problems are recommended.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Arts degree in Industrial Management, 2001