ABATTOIR WASTE MANAGEMENT AND ITS POTENTIAL EFFECTS ON HUMANS AND SURFACE WATER QUALITY: CASE OF SELECTED AREAS IN FAKO DIVISION, SOUTH WEST REGION, CAMEROON
By Betek Quinta Bakume | Department of Development Studies | Environment and Natural Resource Management
Globally, abattoirs are known to generate different kinds of waste that can adversely impact human health and the wider environment. At the same time, waste products of abattoirs can be recycled in a manner that reduces their adverse impacts while generating strings of income and jobs. Accordingly, the present study assesses abattoir waste management and its potential effects on humans and surface water quality in selected areas in South West Cameroon. More specifically, the structures, facilities and practices at the eight (8) abattoirs of the Fako Division were studied, along with the appropriateness and/or adequacy of the waste management strategy adopted. Information for the study was collected using survey, questionnaires, key informant interviews and researcher’s direct observation. Additionally, water samples from nearby stream were collected and analyzed to determine the physical and chemical composition of effluent generated by the abattoirs. Information collected from direct observation were presented in pictures, and those collected from key informant interviews where presented and described. The outcome of water sample analyses was further analyzed statistically using the student t-test and correlation analyses. The finding indicate that; firstly out of the 8 abattoirs, only 1 had the required facilities for slaughtering and treatment of abattoir waste. However, in the abattoirs of Ekona and Buea town, the animal blood was collect and used for preparing feed for pigs. No waste treatment and or recycling activities were carried out in the remaining 5 abattoirs. Analyses of water samples collected indicated that the abattoirs generated pollutants with only total dissolved solids (TDS) and turbidity exceeding the WHO standards. The study concluded that waste management should be mainstreamed in the construction and operation of abattoirs in Fako, and Cameroon generally. It was therefore recommended that abattoirs of Fako division be renovated and equipped with up-to-date slaughtering and waste collection/management facilities. Additionally, it was considered that promoting the use of recycled products of abattoir waste will generate demand for it and render abattoir waste management more self-sustaining. This however calls for more researches on the various uses and applications of treated abattoir waste.
Key words: Abattoir, Wastes, Waste Management, Effluent, Water quality, Pollution.