Ezeah, Chukwunonye (University of Wolverhampton, 2010)
The state of solid waste management in cities of most developing countries is fast assuming the scale of a major social and environmental challenge. In Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, the combined influence of poverty, population growth and rapid urbanization has tended to worsen the situation. The gravity of this problem is perhaps best reflected in the level of attention given to it in the United Nations (UN) Millennium Declaration. Three of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) outlined in the declaration have waste or resource efficiency implications. In response to the waste challenge many developed countries have embarked upon ambitious environmental reforms, recording remarkable advances in best practises and sustainable management of their Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). However, many developing countries such as Nigeria have fared less well in this regard as a result of several barriers militating against sustainable management of MSW. The principal aim of this research is therefore to carry out a critical analysis of the various barriers as well as success factors that affect the sustainable management of MSW using Abuja, Nigeria, as a case study. The study adopts a largely quantitative methodological approach, employing waste composition analysis of samples from the case study area, questionnaire survey and focus group interviews of stakeholders in MSW management as key methods for generation of data. Results from analysis of data, using the Statistical Programme for the Social Sciences (SPSS), indicate that between 65-70% of MSW samples from Abuja is biodegradable, mostly comprising of high wet weight and high moisture content kitchen wastes. On the other hand between 11%-30% of MSW samples from the City comprises mostly of non-degradable but recyclable materials such as glass, metals and cans, non-ferrous metals and waste electrical and electronic equipment. The implication of the high levels of moisture content in the biodegradable components is that samples are not suitable for incineration but are ideal for composting and other mechanical and biological management options. Data analysis also reveals that the main barriers to sustainable MSW management in the City include low public awareness/education on MSW management, obsolete and insufficient equipment and funding limitations. On the other hand, the most important success factor affecting sustainable MSW management in Abuja was found to be the bourgeoning City population which has a huge potential for uptake of recycled products. In summary, this research concludes that the factors affecting MSW management in Abuja are typical of many tropical urban environments. Fundamental shifts in current practises towards waste prevention; driven by a structured public education programme in MSW management is recommended, so as to bring about a more sustainable management regime. As a result of resource and time limitations, it was not possible to complete several potential lines of investigation related to this study. To fully understand the character of the Abuja waste stream however, further chemical characterization including proximate and ultimate analysis is required. Future research in this genre must endeavour to collect data from a larger sample to increase the precision of the analysis and to enable firmer conclusions to be drawn.
Musgrove, Nicholas James (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
The plant communities of the Long Mynd plateau are the culmination of over 3000 years of human intervention that largely deforested the uplands, and subsequently maintained the generally treeless heath and grassland communities now extant. The capacity of these communities to respond to directional change is well known, indeed the traditional mode of heathland management, burning, depends on the regenerative capacity of the target species, generally heather (Calluna vulgaris), for its success. However, changes in post WW2 stocking practice; the loss of ponies followed by an increase in the numbers of sheep and a change to them being overwintered on the hill, led to excessive grazing and damage to the heath. This coincided with the spread over the hill by bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) and other changes in the distribution and nature of the vegetation. A sequence of vegetation surveys made by various individuals and organisations over the past 75 years or so has been analysed in an attempt to delineate spatial and temporal changes in the vegetation. This demonstrated the need for a standardised survey methodology to allow consistent monitoring. The analysis showed that bracken had been infiltrating most of the communities from its origins outside the lower limits of the Common as well as from some of the valley sides. Within the last decade, this expansion has apparently been contained in line with the current management plan for control. A survey of 730 quadrats in some 30 stands was made to characterise the variation of the vegetation on the plateau, and to relate it to some of the associated environmental factors. Classification, unconstrained ordination and ordination constrained by the abiotic environmental variables, showed that, a) the strongest trend in the vegetation distinguished water-flushed communities, b) non-wetland communities differentiate between heathland and grassland, c) this trend can be only partly be attributed to the measured abiotic environmental variables, d) the amount of pure Pteridietum [U20] is limited, although much of the heathland and grassland has bracken within it. There are indications that invasion by bracken often correlates with a loss of dominance of Calluna in favour of Deschampsia flexuosa and Vaccinium myrtillus. Difficulties in associating these trends with measured abiotic variables suggests, other factors probably management processes, are critical in driving this trend. Distribution of ‘heathland’ bryophytes was found to be associated more with the structure of their ‘host’ vascular communities rather than with abiotic factors. Finally, this investigation considers the practical implications with regard to the future encouragement of heather and the control of bracken. Cutting rather than burning appears to be the ecologically most suitable method for heather regeneration and bracken control.
Thomas, David John Edwards (University of Wolverhampton, 1998)
Until recently, and since the inception of the National Health Service in 1948, general dental practitioners [GDPs] have worked in a stable environment. In recent years these GDPs have experienced dramatic changes in the way that primary oral health care is delivered to the public. This research aims to understand the strategic planning processes and the issues that are involved within the management of these changes that are currently occurring in general dental practice. The research question asks "What model could General Dental Practitioners use in their strategic approach to managing the enforced changes that are occurring within primary Dental Care". This thesis adopts the approach that all GDPs work within a “Small business” environment but that they are constrained by “professional” requirements. The changes now mean that these GDPs need to become proactive in their decision-making processes. The present system of primary oral health care within the U.K. is designed for the treatment and repair of damage caused by dental disease; it has not been prevention orientated. Changes such as disease processes, the financing of the NHS, demographic changes all mean that GDPs will require, in some degree at least, to re-evaluate their personal objectives and strategies. Historically, GDPs might be considered to have been reactive in their approach to these gradual changes. The ‘item of service’ payment system used within the NHS to remunerate GDPs is unique and therefore no existing small business model satisfies the requirements of GDPs. The research involved a population of 449 West Midland GDPs. The findings of the research indicated that certain core issues were significant in how dentists decided to operate their clinical practice. Significant gaps were revealed in the current literature and the research findings were used to develop a totally new decision making model. This model attempts to embrace the current changing scenario and by using this model, GDPs can evaluate their individual position within this changing framework of general dental practice and thus be better informed in their decision making processes. The need for further research is explained and suggestions are made for other areas that might be considered of importance to dentists and the delivery of primary oral health care.
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