WASTEWATER QUALITY AND UNHYGIENIC PRACTICES IN MINNA ABATTOIR, NORTH CENTRAL NIGERIA
Wastewater collected from Minna abattoir was analyzed for its microbiological and physicochemical properties using standard methods. The results revealed that the wastewater harboured aerobic heterotrophic bacteria (1.1 x 108 - 4.6 x 108cfu/ml), coliforms (6.3 x 105 – 3.9 x 106cfu/ml), Salmonella species (1.8 x 103 – 2.1 x 104cfu/ml), and fungi (1.4 x 104 – 4.0 x 104cfu/ml). The microorganisms were identified as species of Bacillus, Streptococcus, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Mucor, Aspergillus, and Penicillium. Escherichia coli was more consistently isolated and constituted 23.23% of the total bacterial isolates while Aspergillus flavus had the highest frequency of occurrence (28.86%) among the fungal isolates. Ova of parasites Taenia saginata, Ascaris sp., and hookworm as well as cysts of Giardia ovis were also detected in the wastewater. The wastewater had a pH of 6.03-7.60, suspended solids (8.76-3960 mg/L), ammonia (760-1140mg/L), COD (81555-8200mg/L), BOD (28-836mg/L) and sulphide (1315.2-2333.6mg/L). These values, with the exception of pH are higher than the permissible limits set by the Federal Ministry of Environment (Nigeria). The sanitary condition of Minna abattoir was poor due to indiscriminate dumping of solid wastes, discharge of untreated wastewater, and poor handling and transportation of meat to sales points. The abattoir lacked necessary gadgets for its operations. Besides, there was no potable water supply in the abattoir and therefore, it depended on commercial water vendors for its water supply. The unhygienic conditions of the abattoir and discharge of untreated wastewater into the environment posed serious threats to the environment and human health. There is the need to provide facilities in the abattoir and enlighten the users on the implications of unhygienic practices in the abattoir.