Project Materials

The Impact of Poor Housing on Health

The Impact of Poor Housing on Health

ABSTRACT: The researcher focused on the impact of poor housing on health in Eket Local Government Area.  To guide the study, three objectives were set thus: to identify the causes of poor housing; to identify the effects of poor housing on health; and to determine the remedial measures to poor housing. Three hypotheses were formulated and tested based on the set objectives. Related literatures were reviewed and the study was supported by Abraham Maslow’s Need Theory. A sample size of 100 respondents and a simple random technique was used for the study. Data were collected using questionnaire and analyzed using simple percentages and chi-square statistics.

Finding revealed that there is a significant relationship between the causes of poor housing and its effect on health; that there is a significant relationship between health effects and poor housing; and that there is a significant relationship between remedial measures and poor housing. Based on these findings, conclusion was drawn and recommendations were made among others that health education should be encourage to create awareness on the effect of poor housing on health; that routine house to house inspection should be carried out by environmental health and other related agencies; and that proper maintenance of the house should be encouraged.


The Impact of Poor Housing on Health
The Impact of Poor Housing on Health

The Impact of Poor Housing on Health



1.1   Background to the Study

Housing is an act of providing all the necessary facilities in a dwelling and communities which will enhance or contribute to the physical, mental and social wellbeing of an individual (WHO, 2005). Housing is one of our most basic needs while there is a complex relationship between housing and health, poor housing is frequently associated with poorer health. Adequate housing is one of the basic necessities of every individual, family and community in general. As a prerequisite to the survival of man, it ranks second only to food, air, water and clothing.

Housing as a unit of the environment has a profound influence on the health, efficiency, social behaviour, satisfaction and general welfare of the individual and community. It reflects the cultural, social and economic values of a society. It is the best physical and historical evidence of civilization in a country. In recent years, rapid urbanization and economic growth have compounded the problems of inadequate housing for the increasing population in Nigeria (Omodu, 2005).

Poor housing is any housing unit which fails to meet the minimum standard requirement of housing as prescribed in the building bye-laws. Poor housing refer to housing unit which are deficient in both structural requirements, facilities and safety of the public and there is evident of likelihood that such structures are likely to be injurious to public having been found to harbor rodents, vermin and other vectors of disease of man. Poor housing include those unit that are damp, poorly lighted, ill ventilated and may be deficient in facilities and sanitary conveniences.

READ ALSO  Concept Mapping Strategy And Academic Performance Of Students In Integrated Science

Clearly, poor housing is not just a problem for our time, the rate of poor housing and its concomitant health effects have increased dramatically with growth in human population. Moreso, Omodu (2005) further highlighted that housing constitutes a problem when it is insufficient both in quantity and quality. In terms of quantity, houses are not enough to accommodate the family, but for the quality, dwelling units are dilapidated facilities such as toilet, portable water supply, electricity etc are not in existence or have broken down due to lack of funds or when people are living in quarter’s settlement.

A number of studies have shown that deplorable conditions or urban housing in Nigeria (Onobokun et al 1972) affirm that 75% of the dwelling units in Nigeria’s urban centers are substandard and the dwelling are sited in slums. This results from combined effects of natural aging of the building, poor sanitation in the disposal of sewage and solid waste wrong development of land and increasing deterioration of the natural landscape (Olotuch, 2005).

Today, civilization and industrialization has led to rapid urbanization and subsequently mass drift of the people from rural to urban areas in search of jobs and social amenities such as water supply, electricity, good roads, health services etc. Rapid urban growth has inadequately led to increase in the demand for housing to accommodate the teeming populations. Predictably, health problem such as overcrowding, effective solid waste and sewage disposal are common features in cities. Due to astronomical rise in the population of the urban centers, many houses used for human habitations are dilapidated and lacked sanitary conveniences giving rise to slums/shant towns and indiscriminate defaecation, bathing and cooking respectively (WHO, 1961).

According to World Health Organization experts, poor houses provide opportunities for the direct transmission of diseases and encourage unhealthful habits among the occupants (WHO, 1961).

Without doubts, environmental health problems posed by poor housing are enormous; many studies have revealed that poor housing predisposes residents to hazards such as accident, disease, behavioural and social problems. At the United Nations Habit II Conference in Turkey in 1990, it was predicted that two-thirds or global populations would live in the world’s urban settlement by 2030. In view of this timely warning, therefore, there is an urgent need to provide adequate housing to meet the yearnings of the teeming populations expected to move into urban cities. This will go a long way to minimize urban decay (UN, 1990). 

In 1975, at the inter-regional seminar on the social aspect of housing, it was stated that, the concept of housing encompasses all the ancillary services and the community facilities, which are necessary to human well-being therefore, community facilities, social amenities and service form and integral part of the housing concept and should receive equal or greater attention than housing unit itself (UN, 1990).

READ ALSO  influence of family background on academic performance of secondary school students pdf

Therefore, housing should not be considered on isolation as a more physical structure that provides shelter, rather housing is an integral part of social science and unpolluted well controlled environment, that is an environment where the beauty of building and the countryside, were the fabric of villages, towns and cities are shaped and presented to make them pleasing and efficient places for living and working (Omodu, 2005).

Furthermore, decent housing according to WHO is a necessary tool for a good health and can be regarded as the right of every individual, a larger proportion of the population in Nigeria lives in substandard and poor housing. If there were considered as a product of medical care/housing could simply be one input used in producing it. Unfortunately, the economics literature generally ignores this. But as Arrow (1963) admits, particularly at low level of income, other commodities such as nutrition, shelter, clothing and sanitation may be much more significant than medical care as casual factors in health.

Since this problems seems to only get worse with time and we may reach the point where health is damaged irrevocably. As a result of poor housing, the only logical solution is that everybody should embrace ways to reduce poor housing with the hope that it will eventually someday be eliminated.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Poor housing is not just an entirely new phenomenon; rather the problems has grown steadily worst with time, especially in rural communities where there is little or no knowledge about the health implication of poor housing. Worthy of note in Eket Local Government Area is the problem of dilapidated building, which is a threat to life, unavailability of ceiling which may absorb direct heat from the zinc in the building, dampness of house which causes rheumatic problem and bronchitis, poor lighting leads to home accidents. 

High risks of airborne infections, such as tuberculosis, measles etc comes from overcrowding, poor ventilation which will give rise to communicable diseases and many other problems such as broken floor, leaky roof, broken walls that can cause physical injury to the occupier. Absence of essential sanitary facilities are common factors of poor housing state of the study area and all these housing defects are not without their adverse health consequences.

Hence, it is against this backdrop that the study is undertaken with a view to proving the way forward against the ugly trend.

1.3   Significant of the Study

The study will be of immense benefit as follows:

  • To the community, it will help the people to identify the impact of poor housing on health.
  • To the researcher, it is of immense values as it will increase the researcher’s knowledge on environmental health issues and equip the researcher with means of addressing problem of poor housing as well as means of preventing and controlling them.
  • To the Government, it will expose the impact of poor housing on health in Eket Local Government and stimulate the Government’s interest in implementing the housing policy in the Local Government Area.
READ ALSO  Facilities Availability and Physical and Health Education Teaching in Secondary Schools

The Impact of Poor Housing on Health

1.4   Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate and identify the health implication of poor housing and suggest remedial measure to improve the standard of houses in the study area.

1.5   Justification of the Study

It is expected that:

  • The result of the findings will constitute knowledge with regards to solving the problems of poor housing.
  • Through the findings, adequate policies on housing standard would be developed by the government with references to health promotion.
  • The findings of the study will improve the planning implementation of housing programmes.

1.6   Objectives of the Study

        Broad Objective

The broad objective of this study is to access the health implications of poor housing on the people of Eket Local Government Area. 

        Specific Objectives

Specifically, the study will:

  • Identify causes of poor housing
  • Identify the effects of poor housing on health
  • Determine the remedial measures on poor housing in the study area.


1.7   Research Questions

  • What are the causes of poor housing in Eket Local Government Area?
  • What are the effects of poor housing on health in Eket Local Government Area?
  • What are the remedial measures of poor housing on health in Eket Local Government Area?

The Impact of Poor Housing on Health

1.8   Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis One

Ho: There is no significant relationship between the causes of poor housing and health.

Ha: There is significant relationship between the causes of poor housing and health.

Hypothesis Two

Ho: There is no significant relationship between health effects and poor housing.

Ha: There is significant relationship between health effects and poor housing.

Hypothesis Three

Ho: There is no significant relationship between remedial measures and poor housing.

Ha: There is significant relationship between remedial measures and poor housing.

1.9   Scope of the Study

The study centers on poor housing and health implications on the health of the people in Eket Local Government Area.

1.10 Operational Definitions

Housing: This is the physical structure designed for human habitation including the necessary service, facilities, equipment and devices needed for the physical, mental and social well-being of the individual and the family health.

Poor Housing: This is any physical structure designed for human habitation that lacks all the necessary services and facilities for the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social wellbeing of the occupants.

Dilapidated Building: A house that is in a very bad condition or a state of disrepair.

Poor Ventilation: A house that is dark or no provision of access air.

Dampness of the House: A house that is extremely cold or moist.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button