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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

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

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Correspondence to Julius N. Fobil.

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Arko-Mensah, J., Darko, J., Nortey, E.N.N. et al. 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. Environmental Management 63, 574–582 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-019-01150-1

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Keywords

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