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IMPACT OF e-WASTE DISPOSAL ON THE BIOPHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT OF ENUGU URBAN, NIGERIA.

Ph.D Thesis by Ajaelu, Henry Chidiebere – May 2019

ABSTRACT:

This study empirically assessed the impacts of e-waste disposal on the biophysical environment of Enugu. This is because e-waste is one of the fastest growing waste globally with an annual growth rate of 3-5%, making it three times faster than normal municipal solid waste in developing countries, here in Nigeria and Enugu in particular. The main destination of e-waste is the landfill, where they become source of pollution of surface water and soil with toxins and heavy metals. The study investigated the impact of e-waste through; estimating the nature and volume of e-waste; determining the disposal practice; ascertaining the effect of e-waste on the biophysical environment; as well as suggesting effective management practice. A total of 6 soil samples were collected from major electronic and electronic equipment repair areas and 17 surface water samples were randomly collected from the existing rivers in Enugu urban area, with acid-washed and oven-dried polyethylene bottles. Temp, pH, electrical conductivity and dissolved oxygen were determined on-site with recalibrated text meter and was all taken to the PRODA for Laboratory analysis. Questionnaires were also administered to users, repairers, and e-waste works in Enugu urban while 17 dumpsites were measured to ascertain the volume of e-waste disposed of. The purposive sampling technique was used in the study. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Surfer 13 (trademark) software was used to generate a concentration map for each of the tested metals. The study observed the very higher concentration of Iron (Fe) 0.28 and Lead (Le) 0.26 within Gariki, Okwuosa, Abakpa Bridge was dictated and Ebeano tunnel, Nickel (Ni) 0.28 was also observed to be higher in areas like Akwuke, Emene, and Okwuosa in surface water. Soil Concentration level for Lead (Ld) 0.48, Cobalt (Co) 1.10, Nickel (Ni) 2.60, Cadmium (Cd) 0.15 and Zinc (Zn) 0.18 in areas such as Ogbete, Asata Chemist, and Gariki. This implied that the hazardous effect of e-waste is gradually creeping into Enugu Urban if not controlled or managed. Test of the first hypothesis revealed that the metal values obtained from soil samples collations sites were not significantly different from that of the controls (P > 0.05). The test of the second hypothesis revealed that the PH of water from e-waste dumpsites was significantly higher than that of the control (t = 2.592, P = 0.020). Similarly, COD of water from e-waste dumpsite was significantly higher than that of the control (t = 2.309, P = 0.036). The Study recommended that the State Government through the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with other Ministries should create awareness programs and develop an all-encompassing strategic plan, sustainable models, and policy for e-waste checking, controlling and Management in Enugu Urban.

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