Environmental Management

, Volume 63, Issue 5, pp 574–582 | Cite as

Socioeconomic Status and Temporal Urban Environmental Change in Accra: a Comparative Analysis of Area-based Socioeconomic and Urban Environmental Quality Conditions Between Two Time Points

  • John Arko-Mensah
  • Joseph Darko
  • Ezekiel Nii Noye Nortey
  • Juergen May
  • Christian G. Meyer
  • Julius N. FobilEmail author


The influence of area-based socioeconomic (SE) conditions on environmental quality conditions has recently been reported showing the precise spatial relationship between area-based SE conditions and neighborhood environmental quality in an urban area in a low-income setting. Nonetheless, there is still a lack of understanding of the nature of the relationship on a temporal scale. This study aimed to investigate the dynamic temporal relationship between area-based SE conditions and urban environmental quality conditions over a decadal period in Accra, Ghana. The results showed that there were differences in environmental quality across the SE quintiles in space (with regard to per capita waste generation (p < 0.012), waste collection/clearing (p < 0.01), and waste deposition (p < 0.001) and that the urban environmental quality conditions had changed dramatically over the decade for most of the environmental variables (p < 0.001). Despite the enormous urban development initiatives, some of the environmental quality indicators (e.g., proportion of households without flush toilet/Water Closet, connection to central sewer p < 0.001) appeared to have worsened in the high class quintile, suggesting that a high proportion of households were without acceptable sanitation facilities. The study concludes that urban development in low-income countries will need to follow strictly international best practice by observing standardized building codes and guidelines, if progress should be made in meeting the Millennium Development Goals targets.


Accra Environmental quality conditions Household waste Per capita generation Sewage Socioeconomic quintiles 



We gratefully acknowledge the DAAD/Leibniz Junior Fellowship award program for financial support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, School of Public HealthUniversity of GhanaAccraGhana
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsUniversity of GhanaAccraGhana
  3. 3.Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical MedicineHamburgGermany
  4. 4.Duy Tan UniversityDa NangVietnam
  5. 5.Institute of Tropical MedicineEberhard-Karls University TübingenTübingenGermany

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