Population pressure and health risks in urban market environment: a study of Bodija market, Ibadan, Nigeria
AbstractThe whole world, and especially less developed countries are reeling under increasing population pressure at this time. It however appears that increasing number of the earth’s inhabitants, including those in Sub Saharan Africa are becoming urban residents. Therefore, the issue of populationinduced environmental and health risks in urban areas has been acknowledged a real global threat. The Less Developed Countries (LDCs) are no doubt, in a worse situation. Central to this paper therefore, is to understand and explain the effects of population pressure and the resulting degraded environment on the health of urbanites. Specific focus is however, on urban market environment (and in this case, Bodija Market, Ibadan). Particular emphasis shall be on the following two issues: To ascertain the perception of buyers and sellers on the adequacy or otherwise of basic facilities as water, toilet, drainage system, existing number of stalls etc for the market population. The second is to determine the level of awareness of both sellers and buyers on the environmental and health implication of their activities in the market. In other to analyze and understand the population – environment – health nexus, as it affects Bodija Market, Ibadan, which is the focus of this paper, the theoretical perspective of Structural – Functionalism was employed. A random selection of 260 sellers (in the built-up sections of the market) was made. One hundred (100) were randomly selected from households in the residential areas adjourning the market to represent buyers. This made a total of 360 respondents. This study was directed at permanent sellers in Bodija Market, (men and women) and people who frequent the market to make purchases. The findings show that available facilities in the market are grossly inadequate and that people are exposed to health hazards in the market. It was also discovered that the majority of the respondents have little or no knowledge of the kind of health risks they are exposed to. It was found that market population far exceeds the capacity and number of hese facilities. The findings also show that environmental and health risks result from attempts by market users to adjust or cope with these inadequacies (as indiscriminate human waste disposal). It was however, surprising to find that such environmental and health risks were often downplayed or out rightly ignored or unknown to many market users (buyers and sellers). The study concluded that population pressure is a crucial factor in the despoiling of urban market environments, leading to serious health risks Key words: Population-induced pressure, Health risks, Market environment, Global threat
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