Liberian Refugees in Ghana: Environmental Security Implications of the Indiscriminate Disposal of Municipal Solid Waste
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Liberian Refugees in Ghana: Environmental Security Implications of the Indiscriminate Disposal of Municipal Solid Waste

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Liberian Refugees in Ghana: Environmental Security Implications of the Indiscriminate Disposal of Municipal Solid Waste Liberian Refugees in Ghana: Environmental Security Implications of the Indiscriminate Disposal of Municipal Solid Waste Presentation Transcript

  • Liberian Refugees in Ghana: Environment Security Implications of the Indiscriminate Disposal of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) A Master’s Thesis Successfully Defended By Jenkins Macedo Presented at 2nd National Catholic Conference on Resettlement In Toronto, Canada 5th December, 2012
  • Research Question What environmental threats are associated with the indiscriminate disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW) in the local environment at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement (BRS)? Problem Statement Municipal solid waste continues to be an environmental threat at the BRS in the midst of the UNHCR/NCS’s solid waste collection and disposal system.
  • Background of the Buduburam Refugee Settlement  Gomoa-East District, Central Region, Ghana  The settlement was established in 1990.  Currently hosts about 11,000 Liberian and other refugees.  In 2000 UNHCR/NCS established the MSW system at the camp  UNHCR terminated all humanitarian services in 2003 and this impacted the MSW program.
  • Methodology  Data Collection Mixed Methods Research  Quantitative o Surveys o Free-list o Pile Sorts  Qualitative o Semi-Structured Interviews o Focus Groups  Municipal Solid Waste o Total waste amount (TWA) o Recorded 132 waypoints of solid waste dumpsites  Digital Photographs
  • MIXED METHODS THE CONVERGENT STUDY DESIGN Modified from Creswell and Clark, 2011
  •  Ethical Consideration  IRB  GRB Approval  Limitations  Time  Tensions among refugees, the host country and UNHCR Ethical Consideration and Limitation
  • Data Analysis  Unit of Analysis  Municipal solid waste (MSW)  Quantitative Data  SPSS Version 18  Anthropac version 1.0 Qualitative Data  Atlas.ti version 16.0  Geospatial Data  ArcGIS version 10.0  Municipal Solid Waste  IFEU GHG Emissions MS Excel Database System
  • Results & Discussion N = 112 The graph indicates respondents’ years of arrival in Ghana as a refugee and is consistent with reports released by UNHCR and other aid agencies of 1990, 1996 2001 and 2003 as the years when Liberian refugees intake in Ghana peak, which is consistent with major battles fought between rebels, government forces and other factions during the 14 years civil war. From the graph it can be deduced that since Charles Taylor was forced from power as president of Liberia in 2003 and the establishment of a democratically elected government in 2005, Liberians continue to seek refuge in Ghana. This also indicates that Liberian refugees at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement claim that returning to home would compromise their security and safety because the current government of Liberia is been assisted by UN peacekeepers, which reinforce their stands of insecurity upon return. 1992 Octopus 1994 Renewed Hostilities April 1996 Battle for Monrovia 1997 Taylor Elected 1999 2nd Civil War Started Monrovia sieged by rebels, UN & US intervened caused Taylor exile to Nigeria 2006 Taylor arrested in Nigeria 2000 LURB Rebels attacked government forces 2003 A ceasefire was signed by all warring factions, Taylor indicted for war crimes in Sierra Leone
  • Results & Discussion, Continued… 1. Land Pollution Land pollution was identified as one of the salient themes from interviews and focus groups discussions. Land pollution was obvious from personal observations. “The Central Region District Assembly cannot help because the amount of solid waste that is produced from the camp on a daily basis surpass those that are produced in other towns and as such DA does not have the capacity to assist” (District Chief of Gomoa-East, Environment and Health Unit, Ministry of Environment, Ghana). “Solid waste can be found in all communities on this camp. Some refugees just don’t care where waste is disposed. This is a sign of lack of responsibility of Liberian refugees” (Refugee in Focus Group).
  • Average-Link Cluster Analysis of Environmental Security Refugees’ Perception of Environmental Security HighMediumLow Low Medium High
  • Landfill at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement
  • Opened disposal of human feces in community
  • A closer look shows inorganic and organic materials disposed in front of a public toilet facility at the camp by refugees. These untreated waste caused the sanitation and the waste management team to dig out feces from the toilet, disposed it openly for days before having it buried within the community. All this take place in the middle of various communities at the camp with refugees’ homes within 5-10 meters radius, which is a significant risk factor to the exposure of contaminated air, biohazards and other disease causing pathogens.
  • Public Bathroom as Waste Disposal Site
  • One of several water stations provided by Point Hope-an organization that has established its legitimacy in actively addressing issues at the refugee camp!
  • Components Default LIE Default MIE in % wet waste Food waste 55.4% 41.9% 55.4% Garden and park waste 9.2% 14.0% 9.0% Paper, cardboard 3.7% 9.3% 3.7% Plastics 2.8% 6.5% 2.8% Glass 1.2% 1.9% 1.2% Ferrous Metals 1.4% 1.9% 1.4% Aluminum 0.2% 0.5% 0.2% Textiles 1.4% 3.3% 1.4% Rubber, leather 1.4% 1.9% 1.4% Nappies (disposable diapers) 0% 4.0% 1.0% Wood 3.5% 6.0% 3.5% Mineral waste 6.0% 3.0% 6.0% Others 13.8% 5.8% 13.0% Total 100.0% 100% 100.00% IFEU’s MSW Composition in Percentages of Wet Weight Source: IFEU, 2010
  • GHG Emission recycling in t CO2-eq/yr
  • GHG Emissions from Disposal of MSW
  • Results & Discussion, Continued.... 2. Greenhouse Gas Emissions  Disposed and recycled waste emits 219,604 tonne CO2- eq/yr  Recycled waste saves -6,028 tonne CO2- eq/yr last year  213,576 tonne of CO2-eq/yr from total MSW Recycled waste Disposed of waste Total MSW Debits 2,189 217,415 219,604 Credits -6,028 0 -6,028 Net -3,839 217,415 213,576 -50,000 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 tonneCO2-eq/yr GHG emissions
  • Result & Discussion, Continued... 3. Water-borne Disease Health reports from the Regional Health Department and the camp suggest that land pollution leads to the contamination of water sources, which in turn leads to the outbreak of water-borne diseases. “When it rains human fecal contaminants get into the nearby neighborhoods and water sources causing the outbreak of cholera, diarrhea, dysentery and other water-borne diseases” (Follow-up Interview with the Chief Administrator, St. Gregory Catholic Clinic). “The cases of illnesses here at the camp are very high. So, we do have new incidence everyday of the week of sickness such as malaria, typhoid fever, cholera, diarrhea and measles” (Interview with a Nurse, SGCC, Buduburam Refugee Settlement).
  • Research Question Revisited What environmental threats are associated with the indiscriminate disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW) in the local environment at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement (BRS)?
  • Conclusions Indiscriminate disposal of municipal solid waste  Threatens both refugees and local host communities  Increases vulnerability to water-borne diseases  Increased emissions of GHG and land pollution leads to environmental and health threats. Withdrawal and termination of all humanitarian assistance to the refugee population exacerbates the deteriorating sanitary conditions at the camp.
  • Landfill at the Buduburam Refugee Settlement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwoHRwISU8c
  • How does my study relates to IDSC?  Work with refugees and forced migrants  Environmental threats impact refugees and host relations.  Develop programs to address environmental threats in refugee settings
  • Next Steps  Submit to Forced Migration Review and the African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology for publication  Consider exploring my data further to identify additional themes and issues
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Thesis Committee Members, Clark University-USA Worcester State University-USA Compton Foundation, USA-Funding Ghana Refugee Board-Ghana The Camp Manager-Ghana Research Assistants-Buduburam Refugee Camp Point Hope-Ghana Refuge Baptist Church-Ghana Center for Christian Leadership Development and Counseling (CCLDC)- Ghana