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Effects of marketing and trading activities on the Volta Lake shore environment in Ghana

Ofori, Benjamin D.
Environment, development and sustainability 2012 v.14 no.5 pp. 783-806
attitudes and opinions, coliform bacteria, dissolved oxygen, environmental factors, infrastructure, interviews, lakes, market development, markets, organic matter, planning, pollution, surveys, waste disposal, Ghana
This study examined the relationship between the conduct of marketing and trading activities at market centres along the Volta Lake and conditions of the lakeshore environment using descriptive and quantitative data. The analysis and discussions of the study were based on data gathered through intensive field survey involving interviews, group discussions and on-site observation at six selected markets centres. Water samples from the lake adjacent the six market yards and points upstream and downstream were analysed for some selected physical, chemical and bacteriological parameters as basic pollution indicators. Faecal coliform (FC) and total coliform (TC) concentrations of the lake were high ranging from 8.2 to 27.4 cfu/100 ml and 70.4 to 120.4 cfu/100 ml, respectively. These values were above WHO acceptable levels (FC 0 cfu/100 ml; TC 0–10 cfu/100 ml). Dissolved oxygen concentrations were also low (2.9–5.6 mg/l), below the background level of 7 mg/l, in view of high organic matter content of the water. The market yards contribute to pollution of the Volta Lake in addition to other pollution sources in the market town/village. The study emphasised that the limited market space, inadequate market infrastructure and facilities, low management capacity and poor attitudes of market participants towards waste disposal contribute to poor sanitary conditions at the market centres. The study concludes that the interconnections among market infrastructure, market organisation and management, and conditions of the environment should guide market development planning in order to mitigate the adverse consequences of the operation of market centres on the environment.