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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

Arko-Mensah, John, Darko, Joseph, Nortey, Ezekiel Nii Noye, May, Juergen, Meyer, Christian G., Fobil, Julius N.
Environmental management 2019 v.63 no.5 pp. 574-582
developing countries, environmental factors, environmental quality, guidelines, households, sanitation, socioeconomic status, urban areas, urban development, wastes, Ghana
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.