Dirtiest Cities in Nigeria

by Bamise Ojo

It is a known fact that many Nigeria cities are among the dirtiest city in Africa, as we have been shutting down the list for eternity. Nigeria capital city is not left out in this menace, as a recent research suggests that Abuja might be one of the dirtiest capital cities in Africa.1,2

Below is a list of some of the dirtiest city in Nigeria. The list is compiled after some scrutiny. Kindly feel free to share your views and comments about the list in the comment section.


  1. Onitsha

Onitsha is an economic hub located in the Eastern part of Nigeria, Anambra State. It houses the famous Onitsha Main Market, which is the largest market in Nigeria. Onitsha has been in the news for a long time as a dirty city in Nigeria. According to a survey done by the World Health Organisation, Onitsha is rated as the dirtiest city in Nigeria.


  1. Aba

Aba is a popular city in Nigeria known for its commercial activities. Majority of the locally produced goods in Nigeria comes from Aba. Aba – the heart of Abia State has been ranked as one of the dirtiest in Nigeria based on public opinion.


  1. Kaduna

This is an ancient city known as a trade center and transportation hub located in the Northern part of the country. Kaduna is also known as a dirty city which may be due to its large population.


  1. Lagos

It will definitely come as a shocker to many seeing Lagos on this list; transiting around Lagos city lately one would see an island of refuse dump all over public places. Lagos is the most populous city in Nigeria with a population of about 18million people, which many people have argued to be population congestion. The overpopulated nature of the State coupled with inadequate infrastructure, the lawlessness of the citizen and the inefficiency of the waste operator is a contributing factor to waste being dump all over public places.

Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos. Photo Source: Twitter


  1. Umuahia

Just like Aba, Umuahia is also located in Abia State; Umuahia is the capital of Abia State. For a long time, Umuahia has always found its way to the top list of the dirtiest city according to WHO survey based on Particulate Matter (PM).


  1. Ado Ekiti

Ekiti state was ranked in a recent survey by Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) as the State with highest number of people who defecate openly. Over 60% of the total population of the State is known to engage in defecating in public. The people of Ado-Ekiti use this same energy to dump waste in public.


  1. Abakaliki

Abakaliki is the capital city of Ebonyi State. It is an important agriculture center in Nigeria. This is another city where indiscriminate dumping of waste is the order of the day without respect for environmental law.


  1. Owerri

Located in the earth of Igboland is Owerri, Imo State capital. Most residents in Owerri prefer dumping their waste in the drain. The Imo Environmental Agency gave out a warning sometimes in 2017 about the possibilities of a flood if the citizens still persist in such an act.3

Owerri (Photo Source: Nairaland)



  1. Orlu

This is the second largest city in Imo State after Owerri. It is popularly referred to as the commercial hub of Imo State. Just like Owerri, Orlu also witnesses indiscriminate dumping of refuse.


  1. Nnewi

Nnewi is the second largest city in Anambra State. Just like many others cities with records of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in Nigeria, Nnewi is not left out as it is worthy of a position in this list.

There you have it. The list is in-exhaustive and based on the writer’s personal judgment and observation. Let’s know your thought in the comment section below.



Author: Suhaib Arogundade

Suhaib Arogundade is an enthusiastic young professional who has interest in commodity trading, mindset redesigning, and waste management research.

Suhaib is the Chief Waste Eliminator at WasteWatch Africa.

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