Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31821
Analysing Environmental Risks and Perceptions of Risks to Assess Health and Well-being in Poor Areas of Abidjan

Authors: Kouassi Dongo, Christian Zurbrügg, Gueladio Cissé1, Brigit Obrist, Marcel Tanner, Jean Biémi


This study analyzed environmental health risks and people-s perceptions of risks related to waste management in poor settlements of Abidjan, to develop integrated solutions for health and well-being improvement. The trans-disciplinary approach used relied on remote sensing, a geographic information system (GIS), qualitative and quantitative methods such as interviews and a household survey (n=1800). Mitigating strategies were then developed using an integrated participatory stakeholder workshop. Waste management deficiencies resulting in lack of drainage and uncontrolled solid and liquid waste disposal in the poor settlements lead to severe environmental health risks. Health problems were caused by direct handling of waste, as well as through broader exposure of the population. People in poor settlements had little awareness of health risks related to waste management in their community and a general lack of knowledge pertaining to sanitation systems. This unfortunate combination was the key determinant affecting the health and vulnerability. For example, an increased prevalence of malaria (47.1%) and diarrhoea (19.2%) was observed in the rainy season when compared to the dry season (32.3% and 14.3%). Concerted and adapted solutions that suited all the stakeholders concerned were developed in a participatory workshop to allow for improvement of health and well-being.

Keywords: Abidjan, environmental health risks, informalsettlements, vulnerability, waste management.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1587


[1] B. Dzwairo, Z. Hoko, D. Love & E. Guzha, Assessment of the impacts of pit latrines on groundwater quality in rural areas: A case study from Marondera district, Zimbabwe. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C 31(15-16) (2006), pp.779-788.
[2] K.-M. Kapepula, G. Colson, K. Sabri, P. Thonart, A Multiple Criteria Analysis for Household Solid Waste Management in the Urban Community of Dakar. Waste Management 27 (2007), pp.1690-1705.
[3] C. M. N. Souza, C. M. De Freitas, L. R. S. Moraes, Discourses on Sanitation-Health-Environment Relationship in the Legislation: An Analysis of Concepts and Lines of Direction, Eng. Sanit. Ambient. 12 (4) (2007), pp. 371-379.
[4] M. Kosek, C. Bern, R. L. Guerrant, The Global Burden of Diarrhoeal Disease, as Estimated from Studies Published between 1992 and 2000. Bull of the WHO 81 (2003), pp.197-204.
[5] T. Clasen, J. Brown, O. Suntura, S. Collin, Safe Household Water Treatment and Storage Using Ceramic Drip Filters: A Randomised Controlled Trial in Bolivia. Wat. Sci. & Tech. 50 (2004), pp. 111-115.
[6] D. Cutler and G. Miller, The Role of Public Health Improvements in Health Advances: The Twentieth-Century United States. Demography 42 (2005), pp.1-22.
[7] WHO. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Links to Health Facts and Figures - updated November 2004. Water Sanitation and Health (WSH) (2004), Vol. 2005.
[8] A. O. Afon, and A. Okewole, Estimating the Quantity of Solid Waste Generation in Oyo, Nigeria. Waste Management and Research 25 (2007), pp.371-379.
[9] J.-E Hardoy, D. Mitli, D. Satterthwaite, Environmental Problems in an Urbanizing World - Finding Solutions for Cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Earthscan publications LTD: London 15 (2001)
[10] K. Boadi, M. Kuitunen, K. Raheem, K. Hanninen, Urbanisation without Development: Environmental and Health Implications in African Cities. Environment, Development and Sustainability 7 (2005), pp. 465-500.
[11] F. Akindès, Cote d'Ivoire: Socio-political crisis, "Ivoirité" and the course of history, in: African Sociological Review 7(2) (2003), pp. 11-28.
[12] K. E. Sawaya, L. G. Olmanson, N. J. Heinert, Extending Satellite Remote Sensing to Local Scales: Land and Water Resource Monitoring Using High-Resolution Imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment 88 (2003), pp.144-156.
[13] D. Stow, A. Lopez, C. Lippitt, S. Hinton, J. Weeks, Object-Based Classification of Residential Land Use within Accra, Ghana Based on Quickbird Satellite Data. International Journal of Remote Sensing 28 (2007), pp. 5167-5173.
[14] R. Haydn, G. W. Dalke, J. Henkel, J. E. Bare, In Int. Symp. Remote Sensing of Arid and Semi-arid Lands, Cairo, Egypt (1982), pp. 599-616.
[15] R. McNamee, Efficiency of Two-Phase Designs for Prevalence Estimation. International Journal of Epidemiology 32 (2003), pp. 1072- 1078.
[16] F. S. Makoni, J. Ndamba, P. A.Mbati, G. Manase, Impact of Waste Disposal on Health of a Poor Urban Community in Zimbambwe. East African Medical Journal 81 (2004), pp.422-426.
[17] O. Boiral, Tacit Knowledge and Environmental Management Long Range Planning 35 (2002), pp.291-317.
[18] H. Francos; and M, Bituro. Innovative Way for Solid Waste Management in Dar-es-Salaam: Toward Stakeholder Partnerships. Habitat International 23 (1999), pp.351- 361.
[19] F. Richard, A. Weitz, Public-Private Community Partnerships in Infrastructure for the Poor. Journal of International Development 15 (2003), pp.1083 - 1098.
[20] F. N.Addo-Yobo, A. Mensor, Households: Passive Users or Active Managers? The Case of Solid Waste Management in Accra, Ghana. International Development Planning Review 35 (2003), pp.373-390.
[21] S. M. Kassim, M. Ali, Solid Waste Collection by the Private Sector: Households' Perspective - Findings from a Study in Dar-es-Salaam City, Tanzania. Habitat International 30 (2006), pp. 769-780.
[22] I. K. Osumanu, Environmental Concerns of Poor Households in Low- Income Cities: The Case of the Tamale Metropolis, Ghana. GeoJournal 68 (2007), pp.343-355.
[23] A. M. Wright, Ed. Toward a Strategic Sanitation Approach: Improving the Sustainability of Urban Sanitation in Developing Countries. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank: 1818 H Street NW Washington, DC 20433, 1997. 41p.
[24] Y. Sané, La Gestion des Déchets ├á Abidjan: Un Problème Récurrent et Apparemment sans Solution. A J E AM 4 (2002), pp.13-22.
[25] J. Stern, D. Southgate, J. Strasma, Improving Garbage Collection in Latin America's Slums: Some Lessons from Machala, Ecuador. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 20 (1997), pp. 219-224.
[26] G. Gulis,; J. A. A. Mulumba, O.Juma, B. Kakosova, Health Status of People of Slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Environmental Research 96 (2004), pp 219-227.
[27] PNLP "Programme Nationale de Lutte contre le Paludisme. Rapports Annuel d-Activité 2001, 2002, 2003," Institut National d'Hygiène Publique (INHP) (2003) 43p.
[28] N. S. Dagnan, A. B Kone, I.Tiembre, K. D. Ekra, V. J.Benié, M. Ndoutabe, J. Tagliante-Saracino, ├ëtude de la Prévalence du Paludisme dans la Commue de Yopougon, Abidjan, C├┤te D-ivoire. Médecine d'Afrique Noire 49 (2002), pp.507- 510.
[29] S. R. Doe, M. S. Khan, The Boundaries and Limits of Community Management: Lessons from the Water Sector in Ghana. Community Development Journal 39 (2004), pp.360-371.
[30] K. O. Boadi, M. Kuitunen, Environment, Wealth, Inequality and the Burden of Disease in the Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana. International Journal of Environmental Health Research 15 (2005), pp.193-206.
[31] E. Sinanovic,; S.Mbatsha,; S.Gundry, J. Wright, C. Rehnberg, Water and Sanitation Policies for Improving Health in South Africa: Overcoming the Institutional Legacy of Apartheid. Water Policy 7 (2005), pp.627- 642.
[32] J. N. S. Eisenberg, J. C. Scott, T. Porco, Integrating Disease Control Strategies: Balancing Water Sanitation and Hygiene Interventions to Reduce Diarrhoeal Disease Burden. American Journal of Public Health97 (2007), pp. 846-852.
[33] L. Fewtrell, J. J. M. Colford, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Developing Countries: Interventions and Diarrhoea - A Review. Water Science and Technology 52 (2005), pp.133-142.
[34] S. O'Hara, T. Hannan, M. Genina, Assessing Access to Safe Water and Monitoring Progress on Mdg 7 Target 10 (Access to Safe Water and Basic Sanitation): Lessons from Kazakhstan. Water Policy 10 (2008), pp.1-24.
[35] M. A. Montgomery, M. Elimelech, Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries: Including Health in the Equation - Millions Suffer from Preventable Illnesses and Die Every Year. Environ. Sc & Tech 41 (2007), pp.17-24.
[36] J.N.S. Eisenberg, J.C. Scott, T. Porco, Integrating disease control strategies: Balancing water sanitation and hygiene interventions to reduce diarrheal disease burden American Journal of Public Health 97 (5) (2007), pp.846-852
[37] M. Ezzati, J. Utzinger, S. Cairncross, A. J. Cohen, B. H. Singer, Environmental Risks in the Developing World: Exposure Indicators for Evaluating Interventions, Programmes, and Policies. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 59 (2005), pp.15-22.
[38] A. M. Metwally, A. Saad, N. A. Ibrahim, H. M. Emam, L. A. El-Etreby, Monitoring Progress of the Role of Integration of Environmental Health Education with Water and Sanitation Services in Changing Community Behaviours. International Journal of Environmental Health Research 17 (2007), pp 61-74.
[39] V. E. Manga, O. T. Forton, A. D. Read, Waste Management in Cameroon: A New Policy Perspective? Resources, Conservation and Recycling 52 (2008), pp.592-600.