Pyrex Journal of Research in Environmental Studies (PJRES)

March 2016 Vol. 3(3), pp. 019-025

Copyright 2016 Pyrex Journals

Original Research Paper

Waste or Wealth' the Cultural Crux Behind Scavenging in Urban Kano State, Nigeria

IB Lambu

Department of Geography, Faculty of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Bayero University Kano, P.M.B. 3011, Kano, Nigeria

Corresponding Author E-mail:

Accepted 22nd February, 2016


The paper explores the cultural issues pertaining marginal means of living by some segment of people. Cultural stereotyping of Scavengers was evaluated as the main aim of the study. The objectives of the study include, among others the identification of the major variables that characterized the occupation. The level of satisfaction of the Scavengers was also envisaged. Peoples' responses were sought on the activities of scavenging. Lastly, recommendations were proposed based on the findings of the study. The study adopted both quantitative and qualitative data while capturing the ages, incomes, weights and so on as quantitative data, while preferences, satisfaction and choices are held as qualitative data. Purposive sampling was employed in capturing the Dumpsites or Waste-dumping points as well as the market points where the relics are sold. Peoples interviewed described the occupation as derogatory and even sub-human due to the unhygienic nature of the occupation. It was discovered that the principal actors in the scavenging are mostly illiterate youths who indulge in wayward living style. The livelihood under scavenging has a negative social stigma and culturally, people considered scavengers as mentally ill or semi-lunatics. However, the study discovered a huge gain in the scavenging and the actors are showing high interest in the occupation especially that no base capital is needed in the start of the business. Their association with bad odor, garbage and rotten materials exposes Scavengers to high risk of infections and ailments, consequently many become addicted to drugs.

Keywords: Culture, stereotype, occupation, satisfaction, preference and dumpsite.

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