PhD Students

Main Supervisory

Name: Idris Nasiru Medugu (Nigeria)
Title: The Success of An Afforestation Program in Combating Desertification in Nigeria
Year of Study: 2007 – 2010
Graduation Date: 12 Aug 2010 (Graduated)
Current Affiliation: Professor of Environmental Planning at Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria                                                                                                        Abstract
This research assesses the sustainability of a forestry management strategy of checkmating desert encroachment in northern Nigeria. Combating desert encroachment requires an integrated, multi-dimensional approach. This involves the establishment of shelterbelts, windbreaks, woodlots, orchards and nurseries. This complimented by social forestry, which raises public awareness through campaigns such as school forestry programs, forestry extension services and a fuel wood conservation program. These were to mitigate the environmental and socioeconomic problems in the region. This research adopts a quantitative approach to assess the rural farmer’s level of participation in the afforestation project for which 201 respondents were interviewed in 19 villages in the study area of Kano and Jigawa States, Nigeria. The different components of the project were assessed in terms of performance. The quantitative data were supported with field observation of the project sites, the extent of desertification, impacts on people were also carried out with a view to combating environmental degradation, increasing dry-land agricultural productivity, enhancing resource conservation and contributing to local livelihoods. Findings of this research study revealed that appreciable positive impact has been recorded at various levels of its implementations. The improvement of livelihood of the rural people through increased forest products supply has been noted, fuelwood and poles supply has also increased and this has gone a long way in creating employment for the rural dwellers. The involvement of stakeholders and participation of community was lacking at the early stage of the programme and the neglect of indigenous knowledge as well as the influence of bottom up approach was not incorporated in the project. The research study has articulated success and failure as well as a detailed assessment of the Forestry II project. The study shows that government could significantly combat desertification through sustainable afforestation if adequate resources are employed.

Name: Ishaku Hassan Tsenbeya (Nigeria)
Title: Rain Water Harvesting Through Community Participation: An Alternative To Safe Water Supply in Nigerian Rural Communities
Year of Study: 2009 – 2012
Graduation Date: 5 Dec 2012 (Graduated)
Current Affiliation: Associate Professor of Urban Planning in Yola, Nigeria

This research on rain water harvesting (RWH) looks at the possibility of adopting RWH as an easy alternative to supplement the water supply in rural Nigerian communities. A total of 300 households were randomly selected from six villages for a questionnaire survey. The villages selected based on their ecolological zones, sources of water supply and cultures include Gayama, Akate, Sidi, Sabongari, Kukurpu and Yelwa Bam. Findings revealed that rainfall ranges from 860mm to 1065mm per annum depending on location. Average water consumption per capita in the region was found to be 30l/p/d against an average household of 5 persons. Although 82% of the respondents were aware of RWH only 3% of the households were involved in it. Further probe revealed that rainwater storage facilities and seasonality of the rainfall are the main obstacles to an effective RWH. However, annual rainwater harvesting potential per household was estimated to be 64% for Taraba State, 55% for Gombe State and 51% for Borno State. The study has confirmed that there is enough rainfall for RWH during the seven wet months to meet water demand during the remaining dry months. This RWH is best conducted through community participation in ways recommended by the study.

Name: Hassan Yerima Tifwa (Nigeria)

Title: Economic Valuation of Wetlands in Riparian Communities of Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria
Year of Study: 2011 – 2014
Graduation Date: 26 Oct 2014 (Graduated)
Current Affiliation: Lecturer at Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Federal Polytechnic, Kogi State, Nigeria

In spite of the importance of wetlands to the riparian communities of Lokoja in Nigeria, the government is planning on converting some portions of the wetlands to river port without considering the impact on the local population. This is probably because the market values of the wetlands to these communities are not known since there is no market where such values are sold like other goods. The study therefore adapted the use of contingent valuation method to estimate the values of the wetlands to the host communities and to also determine the preferred payment vehicle. This is done so that future decision on the wetlands will be based on economic decisions and not on mere assumptions. A survey research with a systematic sampling approach was adopted where a total of 988 sets of questionnaire were administered to heads of household in seventeen communities. The respondents were split into two equal groups of Willingness to Pay (WTP) and Willingness to Accept (WTA) compensation for the wetlands. Farming was identified as the core direct use value of the wetlands and keeping the wetlands for their children was the main non-use value. The mean score for non-use value was however significantly higher than that of direct use value. Payment by goods instead of the conventional monetary payment was found to be a preferred payment option in WTP but was however rejected in WTA. The annual income of the respondents and length of use of the wetlands were the only strong socio-economic variables that predicted their WTP while in WTA no predictor was dominant. It is recommended that the government use the findings of this study to initiate consultations and negotiations with the local communities. This is the only way that sustainable use of the wetlands can be guaranteed and the results of this study affirm that the local communities depend on the wetlands for their livelihoods and wish to pass it to their children.

Name: Seyed Nima Moeinzadeh Mirhosseini (Iran)
Title: Impact of Lifestyle and Socio-economic Factors on Carbon Footprint in Iskandar Malaysia
Year of Study: 2010 – 2015
Graduation Date: 20 August 2015 (Graduated)
Current Affiliation: Deceased

Iskandar Malaysia has a vision to achieve sustainable development and a low carbon society status by decreasing the amount of CO2 emission as much as 60% by 2025. As the case is in other parts of the world, households are suspected to be a major source of carbon emission in Iskandar Malaysia. At the global level, 72% of greenhouse gas emission is a consequence of household activities, which is influenced by lifestyle. Socio-economic factors are important indicator of lifestyle and consequently may influence the amount of households’ carbon footprint. The main objective of this research is to find the impact of lifestyle and socio-economic factors on carbon footprint in Iskandar Malaysia’s urban and rural areas. Data were gathered through a questionnaire survey of 420 households. The households were classified into six categories based on their residential area status. Both direct and indirect carbon footprints of respondents were calculated using a carbon footprint model. Analysis of the results shows a wide range of carbon footprint values and a significance correlation between different socio- economic factors and carbon footprint. The carbon footprints vary in urban and rural areas, and also across different urban areas. Personal travel and domestic energy use are the most significant sources of carbon footprint in Iskandar Malaysia. Nine lifestyle and socio-economic factors have illustrated as the most significant contributors to the carbon emission of Iskandar Malaysia including; income, green behaviour index, house ownership, residence location, household size, education level of household head, age and gender of household head and household type. Based on identified carbon footprint values policy implications were suggested to the authority to target its carbon reduction programs.

Name: Noradila binti Rusli @ Ruslik (Malaysia)
Title: Hydrological Impact of Large-Scale Land Use Conversion from Rubber to Oil Palm Plantation
Year of Study: 2012 – 2015
Graduation Date: 15 Sept 2015 (Graduated)
Current Affiliation: Senior Lecturer at Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

Oil palm and rubber plantations together with tropical rainforest form the major land cover of the upper part of Muar River watershed. The last twenty-four years however have seen the dynamics of land cover domination changed from forest to rubber then eventually to oil palm. The successive changes in land cover at a scale this large have huge implications on the hydrology of the area that are manifested in the flows of the Muar River. More frequent flooding is just one of the manifestations. To understand the hydrological impact of the land cover transition, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrological software was employed in this study. The hydrological processes of the 2983km2upper watershed of Muar River were modelled utilizing twenty-four years of land cover data and other necessary inputs including soil and meteorological data. Automated calibration and validation using SUFI-2 in SWAT-CUP successfully enhanced the performance of the simulations.  The model satisfied the calibration-validation process by achieving the Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) indices ranging from 0.71-0.85, depending on the data input. During the twenty-four years, the results show, both total flow and total runoff volume increase by 4% and 5.2% respectively as did the share of oil palm plantation within the watershed. In addition, a positivecorrelation also exists between the size of oil palm area with runoff and flow with R2= 0.50 and R2= 0.69 respectively. Thus, better management of the existing oil palm plantation in a sustainable way to reduce the hydrological impact is critical. Consequently, this study proposes emerging eco-friendly techniques collectively known as Low Impact Development (LID) techniques. LID is an effective technique to reduce hydrological impact in urban areas, yet to be demonstrated in rural or agricultural areas. Employing the same principles, yet at a different scale, LID may have high potentials and relevancy to be supporting tools for sustainable management of oil palm plantation.

Name: Utange Jonathan Zungwenen(Nigeria)
Title: Poverty Reduction Through Community-Driven Projects in Kebbi State Nigeria
Year of Study: 2012 – 2016
Graduation Date: Dec 2016 (Graduated)
Current Affiliation: Lecturer Urban and Regional Planning, Federal Polytechnic, Kebbi, Nigeria

Poverty reduction has become a global concern over the last decades. Development experts, donor agencies and the academia advocated community-driven development as a cornerstone to poverty reduction. In Nigeria, community-driven development projects have been implemented using the instrument of community participation. Few studies proved the relationship between community participation and poverty reduction. Yet, the influence of the sub-constructs of community participation on poverty reduction is rarely assessed. This study assessed the influence of the dimensions of community participation on poverty reduction. Theory-based impact evaluation using quasi-experimental design was employed in this study. A total of 704 respondents were drawn from three homogenous groups; community-project participants from participating communities, non-participants from the participating communities and respondents from non-participating communities. Data for this study was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 22 and Structural Equation Modeling with AMOS version 22. The overall model explained 37% (R2=0.37) of the variance of poverty reduction. The study revealed improvements in participants’ quality of life with 45% poverty reduction compares to non-participants’ 38% and non-participating communities’ 35%. The marginal difference in the quality of life between the three groups showed the existence of other hidden measures that are not captured in the community-based poverty reduction model. This attests that poverty is a multidimensional construct and its reduction does not depend on community participation alone. The study further revealed a significant positive relationship between social capital and poverty reduction compares to other constructs. Using a multidimensional approach, this study recommends group-based microfinance schemes to enhance entrepreneurial microenterprises at the community level. This will encourage social capital and capital asset development which will empower the people to maintain and extend their physical assets. To increase community productivity, value must be added to agricultural niche products. These findings can be employed as a guideline for the implementation of future community-driven poverty reduction interventions.

Name: Dario P. Pampanga (Phillipines)
Title: Urban Livability Indicators for Cities in Southeast Asia
Year of Study: 2013 – 2017
Graduation Date: Feb 2017 (Graduated)
Current Affiliation: Environmental Planning Consultant in Davao City, The Phillipines

Urban livability indicators have tremendous influence on policy and growth trajectory of any urban center (i.e. city, conurbation, and metropolis) to the benefit of its urban community. Livability is a threshold for measuring social dimension of people wrought by exogenous factors like infrastructure, environment, social cohesion, transportation, health and education, among others. This research has adapted a vigorous conceptual and methodological basis in generating urban livability indicators which was the subject of lament where most community indicators possess weak methodological foundation that serves little value to spur consequent social action. This research is aimed to generate prototype urban livability indicators for cities in Southeast Asia, benchmarked on the urban livability indicators of Iskandar Malaysia in the State of Johor in Malaysia, Davao City in the Philippines and Makassar in Indonesia. A three-round iterative blind generic Delphi toolkit (scoping, convergence, and consensus) survey was conducted to pre-qualified 60 respondents with equal representations from the three urban centers. The significant phase was the scoping phase where respondents have to supplement the given framework for their aspired urban livability sub-indicators under specific domain indicators. In the convergence phase, reconsideration of sub-indicators and the preliminary ranking of domain indicators using the 5-point Likert Scale’s degree of agreement and Kendall’s coefficient of concordance (W) were afforded. In the consensus phase, both domain and sub-indicators were ranked and assigned weights. Based on a conceptual framework of 11 domain indicators, 76 sub-indicators, including expert-generated 32 supplemental sub-indicators or a total of 108 sub-indicators, the study finally yielded 76 common, comparative, interconnected, and consistent urban livability indicators under the respective domain indicators ranked according to the aspiration of stakeholders in three geographically separate urban centers. This research has generated a composite urban livability index through robust methodology in determining urban livability indicators for secondary metropolitan settlements in Southeast Asia.

Name: Abdul-Wahab Shuaibu (Nigeria)
Title: Factors Influencing Adoption of Self-Supply System among Households in Yola, Nigeria
Year of Study: 2013 – 2017
Graduation Date: Oct 2017 (Graduated)
Current Position:Lecturer Urban and Regional Planning.
Current Affiliation: Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of Environmental Science, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Nigeria

Self-supply systems are privately owned household-level (on-site) water systems designed to supplement or totally replace main water supplies. Self-supply system adoption as a protective response is now a common phenomenon in all urban centers in Nigeria. This is because the centralized public sector approach that aimed to provide reliable and portable urban water supply has failed in most of the cities. As a result, households are either unserved or intermittently served and therefore do not see value in the public water supply system. Several studies have documented the public water supply problems, others have explored how citizens cope with the situation; but, there are no documented scholarly studies that focus on understanding and modeling protective behaviour among households with water supply inadequacies in the urban centers. This study, therefore, fills this gap by testing the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), in the urban self-supply domain. It examined the role of protection motivation variables in explaining and predicting Self-Supply System adoption among urban households. A concurrent approach of the mixed method research design was specifically used in this study. The target respondents were household’s heads. Stratified sampling was employed to draw a sample of 750 households from a total of 49578 households in proportion to the number of households in each ward of the city. The data on socio-demographic and self-supply phenomenon was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 22. However, the research model and research hypotheses were tested through structural equation modeling (SEM) using AMOS software version 22. The results show that while gender, household size, and duration of stay as demographic variables have no statistically significant correlations with self-supply system adoption; education, income, and housing ownership have statistically significant correlations. The results also show that social standing as a construct have no effect on adoption intention, while threat and coping appraisals constructs significantly predicted adaptive behavioural intentions which in turn significantly predicted actual adoption. The model accounted for 53% of the variance in intention to adopt and 28% of actual adoption of self-supply system as a protective measure against unreliable public water supply. Implications of these results are discussed from a research and policy perspective. Recommendations for future research in the area of urban self-supply system acceptance and adoption are presented.

Name: Noor Hashimah Hashim Lim (Malaysia)
Title: Influence of Perceived Neighbourhood Environment and Health Behaviours on Body Mass Index
Year of Study: 2015 – 2019
Graduation Date: June 2019 (Graduated)
Current Affiliation: Real Estate Developer in Kuala Lumpur

There has been a significant growth in the literature identifying neighbourhood-level environment concerning food and built environment as influential factors of health-related outcomes. However, both of the environmental attributes mentioned have been rarely explored collectively in Malaysia to explain health behaviours and outcomes. Additionally, past studies tended to be based on objectively-measured data while ignoring subjectively-measured kind through self-reported perception of the environment. Self-reported perceptions in fact are as influential as objectively-gathered field data in studies of public health. As such, this study aimed to explain the obesity phenomenon through perceived neighbourhood environmental factors, health behaviours and Body Mass Index (BMI). Participants of the study comprised of adults (n= 256) above the age of 18 years old in the district of Johor Bahru, Johor from 22 higher and 21 lower socioeconomic status neighbourhoods selected using the stratified random sampling technique. Data were collected via a 107 question-item questionnaire administered face-to-face with the assistance of six qualified enumerators. Data collected were analysed usingStatistical Package for Social Sciences version 22.0 (SPSS v.22) and IBM SPSS Amos version 23.0 (AMOS v.23). Confirmatory Factor Analysis was then used to produce the measurement model, while Structural Equation Modelling was used to compute the causal model due to its suitability for quantifying latent variables. Analysis of the data revealed that the causal model linking perceived neighbourhood environment, health behaviours and BMI was a good fit (ꭓ²= 2164.5, df= 1356, ꭓ²/df= 1.596, TLI= .903, CFI=.914, RMSEA=.048). Both Perceived Neighbourhood Food Environment (PNFE)(β= -.303, r²= .092) and Perceived Neighbourhood Built Environment (PNBE)(β= -.208, r²= .043) were found to have significant direct effects on BMI. Consistent with past studies, the former had a higher influence on BMI. As expected, Diet Quality (DQ) (β= -.142, r²= -.142) and Physical Activity (PA) (β= -.169, r²= -.169) were significantly associated with BMI as weight is basically the result of energy intake and energy expenditure. Other variables influencing BMI includes monthly household income, gender and education level. The study also found that full mediation was observed when PNFE and PNBE were tested as mediators between the relationship of DQ and PA to BMI. This suggests that the environmental factors were highly significant as predictors of BMI, warranting further exploration in future studies. Subsequently, a causal model explaining the obesity phenomenon from the aspects of perceived neighbourhood environment and health behaviours was developed. The model exemplifies the intimate implications that urban and regional planning has on public health. This study serves as a basis for inter-sectoral future research by linking more environmental-related variables to public health.

Name: Olapeju Olasunkanmi Olusola (Nigeria)
Title: Fecal Waste Management in Nigeria
Year of Study: 2017 – Present
Graduation Date: Expected 2020

Open defecation eradication strategies such as the adoption of punitive measures, subsidies provision and behavioural change tactics had not significantly improved the global scourge, with over 800 million people still defecating in the open. However, several authors agree that the quest for open defecation eradication would become more efficacious through means that incentivise households to invest in the construction and maintenance of sanitation facilities. One of such means is the leveraging on the reusability of faecal waste in encouraging households to be more selfishly prone to considering containment of their faeces a profitable venture. However, there is still a gap between the knowledge of faecal waste reuse and actual premiums placed on the resource by households owing to cultural, social, economic, environmental, technological, and awareness factors. The study aims at assessing the efficacy of resource reuse as an incentive to sustainable faecal waste management in households within Ogun state, Nigeria, with the view to adopt measures towards improving sanitation management and the stimulation of economic opportunities in the study area. In assessing the viability of faecal waste reuse, households’ sanitation profile was investigated; the psychological dimension to why households who are not deprived of toilets still openly defecate was explored; the significant factors of faecal waste reuse were estimated; and planning measures that adopted the participatory approach were explored as complementary means of discouraging open defecation. Adopting a four-level multi-stage approach, a total 330 households were administered questionnaires, and observations in respect of 1561 household members recorded altogether. Findings show that majority (79.5%) of households use the non-recovery faecal waste management method such as pits’ burying and shrinkage of sludge with chemicals. Only items TS3 ((Neatness of Toilets as the reason households defecate in the open) and RS4 (The perpetual feeling of nausea each time toilets are used) were the only significant variables in the logistic model used to assess why households who share toilets still defecate in the open. However, in the logistic modelling of the psychological factors explaining why households who do not share toilets still defecate in the open, only NU1 (there are no public toilets around those occasional moments, especially when we are not at home), and NU4 (Most people also defecate in the open places where we defecate whenever we are pressed) were the only significant items. The pooled confirmatory factor analysis done to estimate the significant factors of reusability took the form of several re- estimations, based on the deletion of lowly loading factors and correlation of redundant items, validation of the model, assessment of normality,and full structural model analysis.The structural model established a significant positive relationship between Environmental/Health Factors of Faecal Waste Reusability (EV) and Reusability Factor(RF) (β=0.469, p<0.05), and similarly, Economic Factors of Faecal Waste Reusability (EC)and Reusability Factor (RF) (β=0.462, p<0.05). The study, among all others, recommends improved awareness-raising and social/commercial marketing campaigns by both sanitation inclined non-governmental organizations and the public authorities in order to surmount the challenge of acceptability of faecal waste as a resource that has circular economic value.

Name: Rifiati Safariah (Indonesia)
Title: Evolution of Land Use in Bandung and Its Relationship with Surface Temperature
Year of Study: 2017 – Present
Graduation Date: Expected 2020

Name: Mohamed Saleh AbdelLatif Amer (Egypt)
Title: Relationship Between Urban Management Strategies and Sprawl in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Year of Study: 2018 – Present
Graduation Date: Expected 2021

Name: Abba Saleh (Nigeria)
Title: Land Fragmentation and Sustainability of Nigerian Rural Settlements
Year of Study: 2018 – Present
Graduation Date: Expected 2021


Name: Mohammed Sulamena (Ghana)
Title: The Effectiveness of the Decentralization Policy as a Tool for Poverty Eradication in the East Gonja District of Ghana
Year of Study: 2011 – 2014
Graduation Date: 1 Apr 2014 (Graduated)

Name: Hassan Abdul-Aziz (Nigeria)
Title: Effectiveness of Environmental Management of Wilderness Parks in Nigeria
Year of Study: 2012 – 2017
Graduation Date: 2017

Name: Zakka Solomon Dyachia
Title: Infrastrure Planning in Nigeria
Year of Study: 2014 – 2018
Graduation Date: 2018