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1.1 Background of the Study

The open air market functions as an institution for the exchange of commodities and services, as well as a location for the realisation of economic desire (Debra, 2071). Open air marketplaces are extremely important in people's economic lives, particularly in the commodities distribution chain.

It is also an important cultural that contributes to a town's economic base and the local government's tax base.

Markets, according to Berry and Muli (2007), are not only economic institutions, but also social entities that help to forge links between people of various ethnic groups, racial backgrounds, and cultural traits, as well as meeting places for socio-cultural, religious, and political activities.

Open-air marketplaces provide a physical framework for interaction between urban and rural cultures, particularly in West African areas where development rules are lax.

Open air markets are government-designated locations where people gather to buy and trade items (Debra, 2017). They are public areas where food, clothing, home furnishings, plants, and other items are sold.

They are vibrant with the colours, smells, and sounds of people from many ethnic backgrounds walking around looking for good buys. Most African countries' open air marketplaces are plagued by poor road, drainage, and water supply infrastructure.

Markets can be classified as traditional or modern depending on variables such as the commodities sold, the services supplied, and the location, duration of operation, and physical settings, among others. Markets have also been categorised based on their temporal specialism.

This is what distinguishes one market from another. Thus, markets are classified as daily, periodic, and extraordinary. Daily markets, according to Taiwo and Ajayi (2013), are part of large market hubs.

Daily markets feature a big volume of trade once or twice a week and have some characteristics with periodic markets based on the schedule time agreed upon by the community. In smaller market places, periodic markets are held on one or more specified days each week or month.

Special markets are frequently held at annual fairs and can last anywhere from one day to a week to three months. Cooper (2008) found that the most popular traditional market in any settlement is the king's market, which is near to the palace. This is seen in the traditional city structures of Nigeria.

The king's market normally precedes all others. However, because things are transitioning from the traditional to the modern market, it is not necessarily the largest traditional market (Muli, 2007).

According to Cooper (2008), this viewpoint is obvious in metropolitan areas where several marketplaces have been built through urban planning to reduce congestion. He went on to say that women are the majority of traders there since trading is an excellent vocation for women because it is so flexible.

Daily markets are held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. This makes them popular because they are open the most hours. Some daily markets specialise in the exchange of certain items, whereas others deal in a wide range (variety) of goods.

These traits entice shoppers to visit them at any time of day. According to Hodder and Ukwu (1999), one of the most distinguishing characteristics of daily markets that distinguishes them from periodic markets is a clear association in their location with the distribution and hierarchy of settlements.

Belgaum (2012) reaffirmed that the bulk of traders in traditional markets work on a daily basis, with only a small percentage operating on a periodic basis.

Environmental risks have been shown to have a major impact on human health, either directly by exposing humans to dangerous agents or indirectly by affecting life-sustaining ecosystems (WHO, 2009).

Although the specific proportion of environmental variables to illness development and death cannot be known, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that thirteen million fatalities are attributed to preventable environmental causes each year (WHO, 2009).

The report also estimates that environmental factors account for 24% of the global disease burden (healthy life years lost) and 23% of all deaths (premature mortality), with the environmental burden of diseases being 15 times higher in developing countries than in developed countries due to differences in exposure to environmental risks and access to healthcare.

The most severe driving forces in the environmental effects of open air markets include agricultural intensification, industrialization, and environmental pollution, as well as overcrowding.

Major environmental threats to health are related with widespread poverty and severe lack of public infrastructure, such as access to drinking water, sanitation, and healthcare, as well as rising concerns of pollution, in developing nations. Whatever the location, open air market space is quite limited (Taiwo, 2013).

The environmental effects of open air markets are primarily the result of human activity in the area. On local market days, for example, the entire open market area becomes a busy site full of temporary businesses spread out on both sides of the road (Helloakwaibom, 2014).

When a large swarm of customers enters this already crowded environment, it becomes unmanageably oppressive and uncomfortable.

This results in air and noise pollution for approximately five to six hours of market time. The presence of markets in Essien Udim is beneficial since commercial activities are the backbone of many economies, allowing people to purchase, sell, and transact their enterprises so that life may continue on routinely and smoothly.

However, due to the inherent risks, a lack of supervision in the proliferation of markets and trade spells doom for such places. Eighmy (2002) also identified the encroachment of open spaces by market and service businesses as one of the most serious issues confronting Nigerians in recent years.

On the other side, one element associated with open air markets is waste generation, which, if not well handled, increases public health hazards. Animal wastes, human wastes, equipment wastes, and wastes from various food products offered at such markets are among the wastes.

suitable hygiene in open air markets has not been a key priority in many developing nations, such as Nigeria; as a result, markets pop up intermittently with no regard for environmental sustainability, such as the provision of suitable trash dumps and public bathrooms.

The of keeping market areas clean cannot be overstated in order to avoid incidents such as food poisoning. According to Gellar, as described in Fadamiro (2010),

“human behaviour contributes significantly to the degradation of our environment, while certain changes in human behaviour can contribute significantly to environmental protection.” Many studies conducted in various market centres proved the impact of people on the maintenance and protection of the market environment.”

Environmental amenities are in high demand, yet resources are scarce. The growing population in rural areas has actually put more strain on its amenities and environment, as well as those of open air markets and their surroundings. Environmental degradation caused by economic forces produces new challenges.

Much refuse is generated as a result of the volume of activities that occur on a daily basis, particularly in the leading foodstuffs and general goods markets in Obon Annang Market (Ukana), Affiong Etor Market (Ikpe Annang), and Edet Market (Urua Akpan), all of which are located in the Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

These garbage dumps linger in the vicinity of sellers for an extended period of time, decomposing with a strong stink, blocking roadways and limiting easy passage in and out of the markets. People and industries in many countries today damage rivers, streams, and lakes by dumping rubbish (Ogunbameru & Rotimi, 2006).

As a result, dumping garbage on land causes environmental contamination in the form of air, water, and land pollution. Land pollution from garbage and sewage emits an awful scent and is unsightly.

This reduces the oxygen in the air and may be one of the reasons why, according to the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA) (2009), air pollution is one of the most common forms of pollution worldwide.

Again, poor waste and sewage disposal contaminates the well through dirty flowing water and pollutes the water used to prepare meals in market eateries as well as individual water intake. The piles of dirt also block water from flowing into other surface wells, inhibiting the digging of more wells and rendering existing water unsuitable for drinking.

The contaminated water that rushes in from dirty gutters pollutes shallow wells, which are the principal source of water supply in open marketplaces. All of this can predispose marketers and their children to water-borne diseases like as typhoid, dysentery, diarrhoea, and cholera, as well as other bodily discomforts such as odour and the unsightly sights of a garbage dump.

On a daily basis, one may hear music booming from various locations of the market. Vendors shouting to market their items and loudspeakers blasting at full power contribute to noise pollution. Ear drums and communication abilities of individuals in the vicinity are harmed.

Waste disposal is another important source of issue. Against this backdrop, the study intends to examine the environmental effects of open air markets in the Essen Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, and to identify appropriate solutions for dealing with such challenges.

1.2 Statement Of

Over time and place, open air market existence has helped humanity. Humans have existed with the consciousness of buying and selling at various locations and times, regardless of where these activities take place.

Open air markets are gatherings of sellers and customers at a predetermined location and time, usually between 0800 and 1800 hours. The local market days in Essien Udim Local Government Area include Obo, Uruabom, Ekpa, Edet, Editaha, Atim, Ofiongetor, and Edetobo.

Typically, open-air markets draw a huge number of sellers and buyers. The development of open air markets in strategic locations in Essien Udim LGA not only improves people's socioeconomic lives and raises the volume of economic activity in the area, but it also improves food security, political awareness, cultural identification, and economic boosting.

However, these activities have degraded the environment around the market, affecting the lives of individuals who live in and around the region directly or indirectly. The environmental effects of an open air market are visible in the lives of people and their surroundings when vehicles, tricycles, bicycles, and wheelbarrows are parked carelessly, resulting in the closure of access roads.

This increases congestion and makes it difficult to access marketplaces. Without an organised traffic management system, the surge of people on market days puts additional strain on traffic movement for both pedestrians and vehicles.

The lack of attention paid by individuals in underdeveloped nations, particularly Nigeria and Essien Udim, to clean and safe environments is a key obstacle to the maintenance and sustenance of sanitary market environments.

Wearing a nose mask, covering their ears when walking past a DJ Jockey, taking a longer route to the market rather than the closest route, relocating their stores/shops along the roadside or elsewhere within/outside the market vicinity, and degrading the beauty of the roads within and around the market are all manifestations of these environmental effects.

Despite government intervention measures, these evidences from people and their surroundings are becoming more prevalent.

Against these manifestations and backdrops, examinations of the consequences of open air markets in Obon Annang, Affiong Etor, and Edet Market in Essien Udim LGA in Akwa Ibom State are required.

1.3 Research Questions

i. What are the open air market's operational procedures and economics? ii. What are the roles and classifications of an open air market?

iii. What are the causes of open-air market environmental degradation?

iv. What is the connection between open air market causes and environmental degradation?

v. What steps are being made to mitigate the environmental impact of open-air markets?

1.4 Aims and Objectives Of The Study

The purpose of this research is to evaluate the environmental effects of open air markets in Akwa Ibom State's Essien Udim Local Government Area. The objectives are as follows in order to attain the following goal:

i. Examine the open air markets' operational processes in Essien Udim LGA.

ii. Investigate the purposes and varieties of open-air markets.

iii. Investigate the sources of environmental degradation in open-air markets.

iv. Determine the link between the open market and environmental damage.

v. Evaluate attempts to mitigate the environmental impact of open-air markets.

1.5 Hypothesis of Research

H0: In Essien Udim Local Government Area, there is no substantial association between open air markets and environmental deterioration.

H1: There is a strong link between open-air markets and environmental deterioration in the Essien Udim Local Government Area.

1.6 Importance of the Study

Flooding, inappropriate garbage disposal, and pollution of various types are all environmental challenges associated with open air markets. This project will raise awareness among people and the surrounding community on how to provide solutions to environmental issues, particularly when they are at their worst.

This study will improve the locals' health because they will realise that their everyday actions in the markets and surrounding areas can either conserve their environment today or harm it for future generations.

This research would aid all faculties of environmental studies in Nigerian institutions because it will as a reference resource for current and future studies.

This research will aid in the discovery of environmental problems and provide a foundation for adequate environmental planning and market redevelopment, ensuring the provision of necessary facilities and the maintenance of proper conditions within and around these open-air markets.

Furthermore, the need for this research stems from Essien Udim Local Government Area's vicinity to Ikot Ekpene, Abak, Ikono, and Etim Ekpo Local Government Areas. These are some of the most prosperous areas in Akwa Ibom State. As a result, the Essien Udim Local Government Area is strategically located to be influenced by these cities.

This allows for engagement and provides much-needed push for speedier integration and development. The added requirement for this research is related to the political, economic, and socio-cultural roles of Akwa Ibom State's Essien Udim Local Government Area.

Furthermore, this research will be used as a resource by federal, state, and local government health and environmental authorities.

This research will benefit the federal and state ministries of agriculture, lands, and housing because it will act as a reference source for any information they may seek regarding the research subject and content.

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) interested in local community health issues would also use this research as a reference source.

1.7 Scope of Study

The study is geographically limited to the effects of open air markets on the environment in the Essien Udim Local Government Area. Essien Udim is a town in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, with a population of around 192,668 according to the 2006 population census (, 2014).

The scope of this research revolves around the environmental effects of open-air markets in Ukana's Obong Annang Market, Uruan Akpan's Edet Market, and Ikpe Annang's Affiong Etor Market, all of which are located in Akwa Ibom State's Essien Udim Local Government Area.

In the Local Government, there are eight market days: Obo, Uruabom, Ekpa, Edit, Editaha, Atim, Ofiongetor, and Edet Obo. The size of the community affected by the effects of the open air market is also limited in this study.

Contextually, the study focuses on the environmental effects of open-air markets in the Essien Udim Local Government Area.

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