Assessing the Environmental Impact of Urban Poultry Farms in Kuje Suburbia, Abuja, Nigeria.

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Abstract:

The 21st Century has witnessed an unprecedented rate of urbanization, with approximately 50% of the global population residing in cities at present, and this figure is projected to rise to 70% by 2050. This rapid urbanization has brought forth challenges such as unemployment and urban food security issues. In response to these food security challenges, urban agriculture has emerged as a practice, involving the cultivation of animals and crops in urban and peri-urban areas. This study examines the environmental impacts of urban poultry farming activities in Kuje Suburbia, Abuja, with the goal of identifying major pollutants emitted from these farms and their effects on surface water, soil, and air quality. The aim is to provide planning and management solutions for achieving a sustainable and healthy environment in Abuja.

To enhance the credibility of the research, a triangulation approach was adopted, utilizing multiple sources of data analysis. The study employed geospatial, experimental, and quantitative methods to address the research questions. The sampling technique involved two stages: random sampling of poultry farms based on their scale of operation and purposive sampling of farms located within 500 meters of residential areas. Six selected poultry farms operating in Kuje were sampled and tested for potential pollutants, including surface water, borehole water, and well water. Laboratory tests and measurements were conducted to determine the physiochemical parameters of water, soil, and air quality impacted by poultry farming activities in Kuje Suburbia.

The analysis revealed the presence of heavy metal concentrations above the recommended standards set by WHO/NESREA in water, soil, and air samples from poultry farm areas, particularly in Chibiri community. Of concern, lead levels in the soil exceeded permissible limits, which can lead to severe and permanent brain damage, convulsions, and even death. Air quality analysis also indicated the presence of pollutants stemming from poultry activities, posing potential health risks to the residents.

Data were collected through structured questionnaires administered to 360 respondents. The findings revealed that residents had a mean rank score of 4.60 regarding their knowledge of the impacts of poultry farming activities. Additionally, 61.1% of respondents reported that the location of the poultry farms resulted in environmental pollution due to bad odors, while 28.3% complained of attracting rats and flies to the area.

In conclusion, this study demonstrates that poultry farming activities in Kuje sub-urbia have adverse environmental impacts. The study recommends, among other measures, the establishment and enforcement of appropriate distances between poultry farms and residential areas by regulatory authorities to mitigate environmental pollution and health hazards faced by the residents.

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