The purpose of this paper is to investigate the psychosocial perception of harmattan dust on building openings, health and housekeeping to determine the influence of the dust on building occupants.
Population-representative survey data were collected from Maiduguri, Northeastern Nigeria, through physical administration of questionnaires by assessing several variables. Statistical package SPSS 16.0 was used for the data analysis, which is mainly descriptive analysis in frequencies, percentages and means together with a repeated Pearson’s chi-square analysis to identify the relationship between the factors and the significance testing.
The results show that majority (94.3%) experienced dust problem in harmattan season, and a larger part (76.6%) confirmed that the dust penetrates through doors and windows. Higher percentage (91.2%) noticed that the dust particles on their floor/furniture surfaces, and on an average, people clean their houses three times daily in harmattan season. Majority (80.5%) of the respondents smell dust in the harmattan season, and greater part (77.9%) experienced health challenges in this season, of which 12.8% confirmed harmattan dust aggravates their asthma, 13.6% confirmed it causes headache, 3.1% confirmed it exacerbated pneumonia, 58.5% confirmed it causes coughing, 3.5% confirmed catarrh, 2.3% confirmed nasal/respiratory congestion, sneezing and bronchitis and 6.2% experienced eye problems. Moreover, the results indicate that number/types of openings in a building are significantly associated with factors including smelling dust in the harmattan season and health problem experienced because of dust indoors. The number of times people clean their homes/workplaces is significantly related to important variables such as experiencing dust problem in harmattan season and number/type of openings in a building. The results further established that the health problem experienced by people is significantly related to important variables including dust problem experienced in the harmattan season and type of openings in a room.
Harmattan dust is a serious challenge to health and well-being of building occupants in the study area. The built environment professionals need to optimize building openings for effective dust control indoors.
The research reported in this publication is a part of the investigation supported by funding from Nigerian Tertiary Education Trust Fund under NRF Research Grant.
Mohammed, M.A., Bulama, K., Usman, A.A., Modu, M.A., Bukar, A.M., Lawan, A.K. and Habib, G.A. (2020), "Psychosocial perception of the effects of harmattan dust on the environment and health of building occupants in Maiduguri, Nigeria", Facilities, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/F-05-2019-0060Download as .RIS
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