Experiences of structural neglect by scavengers and pickers of waste products on work- life balance in South-West, Nigeria

OGBU, Emmanuel Elijah, OJEDOYIN, Oluwaseyi Emiola, BAKARE, Ayoyinka Ayobomi, OLUJIMI, Victoria Atinuke, ALIU, Aderonke Omotayo, and ODUNOLA, Bukola Omolara
Keywords: COVID-19, illness, pickers, scavengers, waste products, and work-life balance.
Tropical Journal of Science and Technology 2022 3(1), 1-14. Published: January 4, 2023


Health is wealth, but relative risks and environmental challenges have negatively affected the health of scavengers and pickers of waste products in several ways in Ibadan, South-West Nigeria. There were over one thousand deaths during the coronavirus pandemic in southwest Nigeria, and some of the treatment pathways waste management workers used were not hygienic to treat, cure, or prevent potential contracted illnesses. The purpose of this research was to examine how precarious employment in waste cycle practices affects the work-life balance of scavengers and pickers of waste products in Nigeria. To pay close attention to the experiences of scavengers and pickers of waste products, we used a health belief model. In Lagos and Oyo State, Nigeria, eleven unstructured, structured interviews with these waste management workers were conducted using the snowballing technique and purposive sampling to recruit them. Braun and Clark's (2006) six steps for thematic analysis guiding data analysis and the Pivot- table analytical tool were used to interpret the data. The study's outcome shows that these waste management workers faced health crises and financial crises during difficult times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. We identified knowledge gaps in the impact of health hazards on their safety and the need for adequate training of the workers during times of these difficulties. The part reason was that while the waste workers lacked policies for good hygiene behaviors, many residents developed the attitude of purposefully littering public spaces. As a result, most scavengers and pickers of waste products became subject to harsh environmental conditions and poor health outcomes daily, which are not primary concerns to them. Because of these effects, their productivity, mental and physical health, and the surrounding people are all potential targets for health problems.