environmental sociology.doc

Especially in the large cities off developing

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waste accumulation and uncontrolledd waste disposal, and urban air pollution. Especially in the large cities off developing countries such problems are a major threat to human health (McGranahann et al., 2001b). It can be argued that at the household and neighbourhood level, environmental health issues (the brown agenda) predominate, whereas issuess of ecological sustainability (the green agenda) are more important at the city and higher levels. Many studies of water and sanitation, solid waste services and urban environmental issues identify institutional failure as the principal source of environmental problems. The speed with which the urban populations have grown in Thirdd World nations has far outpaced the Page | 15
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institutional capacity to manage. Arrossi et aL, 1994, indicate that the central characteristic of the problems experienced in urbann areas is not the scale of population but the scale of mismatch between demographic change and institutional responses. This mismatch is between the speed with which population has concentrated in particular urban centres and the veryy slow pace with which societies have developed institutional capacity to cope withh this. The provisions of infrastructure services (water supply and sanitation) along with solid waste and wastewater disposal are among the areas of great concern inn human settlements, especially in the developing countries. Failure to provide thesee services adequately results in many of the well-known costs of rapid urbanisation: threats to human health, urban productivity and environmental quality (WRI,, 1996). Deficient services manifest themselves most obviously in the form off pollution, disease and economic stagnation. The most common benefits arising fromm improvements in service provision are better health, improved quality of life and time savings, which can be allocated to other activities (ibid., 1996). In informal and illegal settlements, the provision of sanitation is inadequate and the majority of the households rely on pit latrines or bucket toilets.The number off urban residents who had no access to adequate sanitation increased by almost 25%% to 400 million between 1980 and 1990 (Drakakis-Smith, 1996). Limited water supplies to urban areas also affect the disposal of household waste. In these often overcrowdedd and under-resourced areas the health consequences resulting from inadequate sanitation can be significantly worse than in other urban areas or rural areas. All over the world, different countries are exploring different methods of providing adequate sanitation at a cost significantly lower than that of investing inn conventional water-borne sewerage systems. An estimated 30-50% of the solid waste generated within urban centres of developingg countries is left uncollected or dumped on any available waste ground. Piles of garbage serve as breeding grounds for disease vectors and rubbish blocks open drains (Arrossi, et al., 1994).
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