Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Herbert Whitney

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The refuse problem in most West African cities has attained such a massive proportion that even the most insensitive city dweller cannot overlook it. Of the very few studies undertaken on the issue most emphasize the distribution, the magnitude and the economic effects of refuse on the urban environment. Although evidence suggests that culture is the filter through which different environments are held significant by the people, little has been documented on the attitudes and perceptions of West African people in relation to the quality of their environment. The present study analyses the public perception of refuse and how this influence: the decisions which are reached in defacing the urban environment. It also draws out the health problems associated with refuse in Nest African cities. Techiman in Ghana is used as the case study. It was found that the perception of refuse is a function of socio-economic and demographic factors, as well as of the level of exposure to refuse. It was further found that, confronted with problems about the satisfaction of basic needs, the people attach lesser importance to the refuse problem, despite the evidence that refuse-related health problems are acute. Policy makers need to know and incorporate more of the people's perceptions and attitudes if the corrective measures advocated are to be realistic.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season