Date of Award

2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs

Department

Marine Affairs

First Advisor

Richard Burroughs

Abstract

Solid waste management is a major problem in most areas of coastal Ghana, where waste is dumped into drains that discharge into the sea or is dumped directly onto beaches. This is as a result of inadequate waste management infrastructure, low patronage of the few infrastructure available, and poor management. The consequence is an increase in vulnerability to sanitation related diseases such as malaria, typhoid and cholera as well as threatened coastal ecosystems’ health. Improper solid waste disposal practices are usually counter-productive to the many benefits and uses of the coast and directly impact the livelihoods and businesses that are dependent on the coast and the sea. For coastal management purposes, there is a need to gather knowledge about household waste disposal methods, quantify the amount of waste generated within the selected community, and identify opportunities for proper waste management.

To gather this information, both quantitative and qualitative research approaches were used to find answers to the research questions. Households (44) were sampled using convenience the sampling method. All the 44 households were interviewed to get more knowledge about waste management in the community but only 34 households took part in the waste quantification and characterization part of the study. Households were provided with dustbins for waste storage, separating waste into degradables other than paper (organics) and non-biodegradables (plastics, paper, leather, textile, glass, metal, miscellaneous and inert (sand/stones/dust)). Over a period of five weeks, each household was visited two times a week and each category of waste was weighed. Preliminary findings indicate that organics were present in the highest quantity (48.07%), followed by inert (22.25%) and then plastics (14.92%).

Analysis of the interviews shows that waste management in the community is generally poor, as a majority of the respondents dump their waste on a wetland. Respondents have enough knowledge about the effects of waste and are not happy about the current waste management situation in the community, but this is not reflected in their behavior. There is a window of opportunity to institute Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) because respondents recognize they have roles to play in waste management and are willing to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.

Available for download on Tuesday, June 04, 2019

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