Politics of Solid Waste Management in Bauchi State, Nigeria:1976-2015
Mohammed, Saidu Umar
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Environmental politics and governance studies the ideas and theories related to environment, examined the view point of environmental social activist and political parties as well as analyzes the public policy making and implementation. The precautionary principle and the integration of environmental considerations into environmental policy. Policy making enhances the participation and deliberations among communities, actors and institutions. This will also encourage democratic procedures to enhance policy performance at multinational, national and local level. Thus, environmental politics is examined through the precept of accountability, inclusiveness and deliberation by private and public actors in decision making for maximum policy outcomes. The rapid rate of urbanization and increase in population in Bauchi city like other cities in Nigeria have led to solid waste being dumped on streets and open spaces. This study examines the history of Solid Waste Management (SWM) in Bauchi between 1960-1983. It analyzes the politics by state and non-state actors in solid waste management in Bauchi from 1983-1997, and finally interrogates the changes in the politics in solid waste management in Bauchi 1997- 2015. The study used a qualitative research method based on a descriptive research design. This approach is appropriate because it describes the state of affairs of a phenomenon as it is. Data were collected from the primary and secondary sources using semi-structured interviews and focus group discussion (FGD); similarly, journals, books, theses, articles, and reports, both published and unpublished, were utilized as secondary sources of data. The target population for the research was people from various agencies, boards, politicians, NGOs, private waste management actors, and inhabitants of Bauchi city and its environs. Purposive sampling technique was used to select respondents. To analyze the data, the study adopted the thematic approach for analysis. Data collected was subjected to processing, categorizing, evaluation, and interpretation, based on the study objectives. This process was achieved through transcribing, editing, and evaluating evidence to ensure the validity of the data collected through in-depth interviews, documents, records, and archival materials. Ethical issues were observed by the researcher. The study adopted the tragedy of the commons and actor-oriented theories. The theories have explained the reason for the environmental crisis based on population increase, and how to solve the crisis through the interplay of different stakeholders. The findings of the study concluded that despite government allocation of hundred and millions of naira annually 85 percent of the traditional community dump spaces (Bingi) within Bauchi city were converted to personal and or public use such as schools, Banks, shopping malls, residential areas, and mosques leading to indiscriminate dumping of solid waste on major roads and streets causing health issues as well as road obstructions. Corruption, lack of environmental civil society involvement, over population, poor policy making and implementation are the major challenges in SWM in Bauchi. It was established that SWM was politicized; the appointment of top SWM staff and contractors is influenced by politicians. The study recommends that solid waste management policy should be included in all environmental domains. Political parties should include SWM as part of their manifesto in to order to save the environment and the society.