Aighewi IT*, Zimughan E and Igbinosa IH
The rising rural-to-urban migration across Nigeria is driving demand for more food and meat and thus the increasing influx of livestock such as cattle to abattoir and thus the proliferation of liarages. This study was therefore initiated to 1) Qualitatively evaluate the potential impact of the selected liarages on their immediate vicinity and 2) Evaluate the extent and magnitude of the pollution associated with the liarages in terms of physico-chemical and microbiological properties of the environmental media in two southern Nigeria’s agglomerations (Benin city, Edo and Warri, Delta States).
Soil and surface runoff water were collected from four randomly selected liarages and borehole water samples near each liarages in Warri. A general qualitative evaluation of the liarages was undertaken while samples collected were analyzed for physico-chemical and microbiological properties using standard analytical procedures.
The result shows that all the liarages were littered with concentrated foul-smelling animal wastes (solid and liquid) that were unpleasant to see in major urban centers. Also, they had poorly constructed sheds or shacks against the background of medium to high value residential homes that could lower property values in these urban agglomerations. Except for pH, the physico-chemical properties such as phosphate, nitrate, Organic carbon and turbidity were relatively high and declined in the down slope positions relative to the main liarages; Top soil samples had total coliform count ranging from 3.3×104 to 5.0×104 ± 2.12; fecal coliform ranged from 2.6×103 to 2.8×104 ± 42.42 while E. coli ranged from 2.1×103 to 7.7×103 ± 2.82 across all sampled locations. Borehole water for drinking was slightly burdened with coliform bacteria ranging from 1.0×101 ± 0.07 to 8.2×101 ± 3.53. Enterobacter spp was the most frequently isolated microbial species identified in all the runoff water that could potentially contaminate surface water bodies. We conclude that liarages can negatively impact the urban landscape aesthetically as well as air, water, land/soil quality within the immediate vicinity and thus could lower property values. It is thereby recommended that liarages be regulated with respect to location and number, while engineered liarages with septic tanks is recommended as alternatives, with routine manure removal and use for growing horticultural crops in these major agglomerations.