Farmer use of urban waste in Kano.


Urban solid waste, principally street sweepings and household refuse, is used on a large scale as a minimally composted fertilising material by the near-urban (15-km range) farmers of Kano in Northern Nigeria. This use has developed over several centuries as a means of retaining and enhancing the productivity of the soil in this densely populated and intensively cultivated area. Until 20 years ago farmers collected the waste themselves, exchanging it for fuelwood brought into Kano on donkeys. More recently they have become dependent on municipal tipper lorries to deliver the waste. As the tippers have deteriorated, from 40 to 50 operational vehicles to 5 or 6, so access to the waste has become more difficult and more expensive. This paper describes what has led to the present situation and considers how the farmers and the urban managers may be able to respond.

Some brief remarks are made in conclusion on the possible general implications of the case study for approaches to the study of urban agriculture.


Lewcock, C. P. 1995. Farmer use of urban waster in Kano. Habitat International, 19(2): 225-234.

Farmer use of urban waste in Kano.

Published 1 January 1995