ASSESSING THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION AND LOCATIONAL IMPACT OF PETROL SERVICE STATIONS
1.1 Background of the Study
The technological initiative of man towards the development of automobile and the discovery of petroleum triggered the building of petrol service stations at strategic locations to meet the demand of vehicle owners (Abdul et al., 2009). In recent times, there has been a sustained increase in the number of petrol stations established in different parts of the country. The reasons for such unprecedented increase are not farfetched: First, the growing number of people in the country and the attendant increase in the purchase of vehicles. Secondly, the attractive price of petrol both at control price and black market prices which made more people to go into the petrol retailing business (Uchegbu, 2002).
In view of this development, many marketers take advantage of this need and build service stations haphazardly without giving consideration to the possible effect of the locations of the stations. It has now generally been recognized that economic development can be a major contributing factor to growing environmental problems particularly when such development is not sustainable. A greatly improved understanding of natural resource base and mostly environmental systems that support national economies is needed if patterns of development that are sustainable can be determined and recommended to government.
Petroleum, (crude oil) naturally is composed of various organic chemicals found in large quantities below the surface of the earth and is used as fuel and as raw material in the chemical industry. Modern (industrial) society uses it primarily to achieve mobility. In addition, petroleum and its derivatives are used in the manufacture of medicine and fertilizers, plastics, building materials, paints, and cloths and to generate electricity. In fact modern industrialization depends on petroleum and its products; the physical structure and way of life of the urban centres are the result of an ample and inexpensive supply of petroleum. In short, the goals of developing countries are based on the assumption of petroleum availability.
Petrol Stations, serve as outlets for retailing petroleum resources such as gas, fuel, kerosene etc., which are highly inflammable, therefore need to be located appropriately in relation to other activities so as to avoid its consequent impact on the immediate environment. The environmental impacts of the locations of petrol stations are therefore not negligible and may not be ascertained unless an Impact analysis is carried out.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
More than half of fast growing world population is living in urban areas, and this is only expected to grow in more coming decades (USAID, 2001). Most of the urban centers in the world are exposed to some hazards, such as traffic congestion, pollution and many more problems resulting from un-coordinated development. Apart from these hazards, cities are also confronted with other problems like accidents, explosion and fire. Urban centers have a varying degree of vulnerability, depending on the level of development, copping capacity and the level to which effective development control strategies have been implemented. In most urban areas, the high demand placed on land resulted to illegal conversion, leading to haphazard development and the deliberate location of petrol stations in unsuitable areas and highly vulnerable to hazard (KASUPDA, 2009). In a highly urbanized environment, Filling station is a significant contributor to traffic problems like traffic congestion, pollution, fire and explosion. The extents of these problems depend on the criteria or variable such as location, size and set back from road etc.
Areas close to filling stations witness a lot of noise, congestion, air pollution, foul odour and other traffic related problems, especially when there is fuel scarcity which results in long queuing or where the petrol stations does not conform with planning standard . Indiscriminate parking leads to reduction in width of carriageway meant for the efficient movement of automobiles and pedestrians. Thus it becomes a major problem in our cities and especially in the Central Business District, where multi-story buildings are common and the land use is devoted mostly to commercial purpose.
The resultant effect of such illegal parking and queuing therefore is traffic congestion, loss of productive hours and delay in journey. Most of these identified problems of filling stations still persist in Uvwie due to lack of adherence to planning regulations. This work, therefore addresses the problem confronting urban environment in its bids to ensure sustainable location of filling stations. This study explored GIS capability to analysis the spatial analysis on the location of petrol stations in Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta state and proffer ways of ensuring strict compliance to planning laws and regulations with regards to petrol stations location. To achieve a desired goal, this work identifies area of high concentration of petrol stations in Uvwie Local Government Area.
1.3. Aim and Objectives
The study is aimed at assessing the spatial distribution and locational impact of petrol service stations on the environment with a view to identifying the physical development problems and to make improvement proposals. (A case study of Uvwie Local Government Area).
The following specific objectives were pursued in order to achieve the above aim:
To determine the location of petrol service stations in the study area. To determine the proximity of petrol stations to residential houses, public/semipublic institutions. To ascertain the effects of the locations of petrol service stations on the environment. To recommend physical planning solutions to alleviate the problems identified.
1.4 Scope of study
The scope of the study is limited to Uvwie local government area which is the study area. The study involves digitizing the satellite imagery of the area, generating digital facility map, manipulating and analyzing the dataset as well as presenting the results in Tables and Map format. The study only took into consideration built up areas that are vulnerable to noise and vapour gas emission at selected buffer distances of 60m and 100m proximity analysis for public institution.
1.5 The Study Area
Uvwie is a local government area in Delta state, Nigeria, its geographical coordinates are latitude 5° 33′ 0″ North, and longitude 5° 47′ 0″ East as shown in Figure 1.1, its original name (with diacritics) is Effurun. Effurun is the headquarters of Uvwie LGA which was carved out of the then Okpe LGA along with Udu LGA on the 4th of December, 1996.
Uvwie Local Government Area is an urban settlement with an estimated population of 188,728 going by the 21, March 2006 population census which spread across Effurun, Ekpan, Ugberikoko, Ugboroke, Ugbomro, Uredjo (Enerhen) and others. Its area is 95km2 and Density: 1,986.6 inh./km2.
Effurun the capital of Uvwie has two main weather conditions annually. The wet season begins towards the end of March when the tropical maritime air mass is prevalent and ends in November, often abruptly. Dry season begins with the onset of tropical continental air mass, which is predominant between the months of December and February. The months of December and January are usually cold- dry months.
Uvwie heaviest precipitation occurs during September with an average of 220mm of rainfall. December on average is the driest month of the year, with an average rainfall of 5mm, as shown in figure 1.2. Temperature throughout the year in the city is relatively constant, showing little variation throughout the course of the year. Average temperatures are typically between 25° C-28°C in the city.
3. Geology and soil
Geologically, the rock types are recent sediment (post cretaceous). The major soil types can be related to climatic factors, vegetation, lithology and topography which gave birth to the hydromorphic soils found in the area which is seasonally or permanently water logged. The influence of poor drainage is reflected in the whitish or grayish colours due to the reduction of the oxides in the soil. The extent of profile development of the seasonally waterlogged soil is limited by the depth of the permanent water table.
The vegetation found in the study area includes mangrove and fresh water swamp forest. The mangrove forest is edaphic community common on muddy coastal shores, tidal swamps and associated creeks and lagoons. The environment of this forest formation is dominated mainly by changes in soil factors, especially those associated with distance from the sea, frequency and duration of subversion degree of salinity of sea water, soil aeration and soil fertility. As these changes vary from place to place, a number of edaphic communities are usually recognized as the peaty swamp, fresh water swamp, riperia tide and mangrove forest. These are the reasons for the existence of both mangrove and fresh water in the study. The mangrove swamp appears essentially alike in its physiognomy and its ecological relationship throughout its entire world range. The flora consists of trees and shrubs. The dominant gums in all the area is Rhizophora (red mangrove). Also associated with the study area are palm trees and lianas in areas where the vegetation has been reduced to dense thickest (secondary forest). Trees are slender with stilt root (Pneumatophores) but however, where the forest has been disturbed raphia palm spread quickly to dominate the entire valley swamp.
1.5.6 Socio cultural setting
It is one of the Urhobo Kingdoms and has a king, Ovie, who rules over the traditional institution of the town. It is a gateway town in and out of the city of Warri; the indigenous inhabitants are the Uvwie people, organized into four quarters. Each quarter is headed by a traditional administrator known as the Umuevworo and at the pinnacle of the traditional administration of the people is the paramount ruler, The Ovie. It is densely populated region and has many of the city’s finest exotic hotels for relaxation such as Wellington Hotel, Hotel Excel, Mega Hilton hotel, Casa De Pedro Hotel. Institutions located in these local government area include; Federal University of Petroleum Resource, Effurun, Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Warri Business School. Companies present are Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Ekpan, Chevron, Warri refining Petrochemical Company, Ekpan, Niger Cat. Other facilities include, Effurun army barracks, Uvwie modem market, Centre for peace international and mediation.
1.6 Justification of Study
Spatial analysis of the location and distribution of petrol stations will prevent a qualitative urban environment for living, working and recreation. The problem of indiscriminate location of petrol stations is taking place at alarming rate in almost all Nigerian cities. Therefore, the study is relevant to Uvwie Local Government as a frame work for the state government, and stakeholders. It will serve as a guide for individuals, developers and other stakeholders in the planning and approving the siting of petrol station in the study area and Nigeria at large.