Advertisement

GeoJournal

, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 343–355 | Cite as

Environmental concerns of poor households in low-income cities: the case of the Tamale Metropolis, Ghana

  • Issaka Kanton Osumanu
Article

Abstract

The Tamale Metropolitan Area (TMA), as a low-income city in a heavily indebted poor country, is at the first stage of the urban environmental transition where most of the environmental problems tend to occur close to the home. Some of the more severe household environmental problems are poor housing, inadequate potable water supply, unsanitary conditions, uncollected garbage, indoor air pollution and pest infestation. Those usually exposed to these environmental burdens are the less wealthy households who have benefited less from development planning and infrastructure provision. Using questionnaire survey and focus group discussions, this study explored the environmental anxieties of households in the metropolis. A stratified sample of residential areas of the city was employed, and the study is able to examine city-wide disparities. The results indicate that problems of water supply are the concern of all groups. Sanitation and garbage disposal services are problems faced mainly by the poor in low-income areas. Other problems faced by the poor are overcrowding, indoor air pollution and pest infestation, but these problems are not highlighted by the poor reflecting a misplaced lack of concern for these problem areas and ignorance of the health risks posed by these hazards. The finding suggests a considerable demand for improvements in environmental service provision and a general willingness to pay for such improvements.

Keywords

Environmental concerns Ghana Household Low-income cities Poor Tamale Metropolis 

References

  1. Bamberg, S. (2003). How does environmental concern influence specific environmentally related behaviours? A new answer to an old question. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 23, 21–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bartone, C. (1991). Environmental challenge in Third World cities. Journal of the American Planning Association, 57(4), 411–415.Google Scholar
  3. Benneh, G., Songsore, J., Nabila, J. S., Amuzu, A. T., Tutu, K. A., Yangyuoru, Y., & McGranahan, G. (1993). Environmental problems and the urban household in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA)—Ghana. Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute.Google Scholar
  4. Brockherhoff, M. P. (2000). An urbanising world. Population Bulletin, 55(3), 3–44.Google Scholar
  5. Bryan, R. B. (1995). Urbanization and the environment in developing countries. In D. Heddy (Ed.), Population and environment (pp. 303–336). London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  6. Gardner, R., & Blackburn, R. (1996). People who move: new reproductive health focus. Population Reports, Series J, No. 45. Baltimore: Population Information Programme, John Hopkins School of Public Health.Google Scholar
  7. Ghana Statistical Service (2004). Ghana 2003 demographic and health survey. Accra: Ghana Statistical Service/Noguchi Centre for Medical Research.Google Scholar
  8. Ghana Statistical Service (2005a). Ghana 2000 population and housing census, Northern Region: analysis of district data and implications for planning Accra: Ghana Statistical Service.Google Scholar
  9. Ghana Statistical Service (2005b). Ghana 2003 core welfare indicators questionnaire (CWIQS II) Survey: statistical abstract. Accra: Ghana Statistical Service.Google Scholar
  10. Ghana Water Company Limited (2004). New water tariffs effective April 1 2004. Accra: Ghana Water Company Limited.Google Scholar
  11. Jacobi, P., Kjellen, M., & Castrol, Y. (1998). Household environmental problems in Sao Paulo: perceptions and solutions from centre to periphery. Urban Environmental Series Report No. 5. (Stockholm: Stockholm Environment Institute).Google Scholar
  12. Lockwood, M., Loomis, J., & Delacy, T. (1993). A contingent valuation survey and benefit-cost analysis of forest preservation in East Gippsland, Australia. Journal of Environmental Management, 38, 233–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. McGranahan, G., Jacobi, P., Songsore, J., Surjadi, C., & Kjellen, M. (2001). The citizens at risk: from urban sanitation to sustainable cities. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  14. Panel on Urban Population Dynamics (2003). Cities transformed: demographic change and its implications in the Developing World. Washington, D.C: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  15. Satterthwaite, D. (1992). Sustainable cities: introduction. Environment and Urbanization, 4(4), 3–8.Google Scholar
  16. Songsore, J., & McGranahan, G. (2000). Structural adjustment, the urban poor and environmental management in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA)—Ghana. Bulletin of the Ghana Geographical Association, 22, 1–14.Google Scholar
  17. United Nations Center for Human Settlement (UNCHS/HABITAT) (1995). Human settlement interventions: addressing crowding and health issues. Nairobi: United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, Habitat.Google Scholar
  18. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2006). Human development report 2006; beyond scarcity: power, poverty and the global water and sanitation crisis. New York: UNDP.Google Scholar
  19. United Nations Population Division (UNPD) (2000). World urbanization prospects: the 1999 revision. New York: UNPD.Google Scholar
  20. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (2004). State of World Population 2004—the Cairo consensus at ten: population, reproductive health and the global effort to end poverty. New York: United Nations Population Fund.Google Scholar
  21. World Bank (2001). World Bank regional report—African Region 2001. Washington, D.C: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  22. World Health Organisation (WHO) (2002). The World Health Report: reducing risks, promoting health life. Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental and Resource StudiesUniversity for Development StudiesWaGhana

Personalised recommendations