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THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF FILLING STATION IN KADUNA NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
A Petrol Station, Filling Station, Gas Station, Fueling Station, or Service Station is a facility which sells fuel and lubricants for motor vehicles, the most common fuel sold is petrol and kerosene. According to Keble (1968), Petrol stations should be located not only where they are in fact accessible but where they can be easily located by strangers and that, in details, they should be placed where they will little danger and congestion as, much possible.
According to the central place theory (Christallers, 1966), Service point could be distributed rationally according to the size, spacing or distance and population to be served. This means that, demand for products sold at filling stations would be satisfied by a system of service points at the central places. Consequently, the tangible expression in the landscape of any urban activities should be distributed on of service points at which a variety of demands are satisfied. Losch (1954) has argued, however, that it is possible to have unequal distribution of service centre’s (i.e. central places) around the metropolis producing city rich and city poor sector. An urban planner faces challenges of location of facilities and services that as a result exposed our urban populace to some dangers. Kaduna is one the town that experiences these problems that arises as a result of un-coordinated development. The higher concentration of petrol filling stations in Kaduna town most especially in the city centre has resulted in problem in like traffic congestion, pollution, fire and explosion. Areas worst hit are Ahmadu Bello way and Ali Akilu way where there are higher concentration of traffic generating land uses which includes filling stations that are located very close to each other, with inadequate set-back of space while others were sited on roundabouts.
Therefore the need for a study on the spatial analysis of the distribution and location of filling stations in Kaduna North Local Government using GIS techniques becomes imperative, even though different approaches had been carried out in other to have a convenient and aesthetic environment for working and living.
1.1 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEMS
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).
Kaduna develop without a proper development planning and suffers problems like traffic congestion, air pollution, explosion and fire, encroachment on right of way of the road network, as a result of non-adherence to planning Laws.
In a highly urbanized environment like Kaduna, Filling station is a significant contributor to traffic problems like traffic problems like traffic congestion, pollution, fire and explosion. The extent of these problems depends on the criteria or variable such as location, size and set back from road e.t.c.
Areas close to filling stations witness a lot of noise, congestion and other traffic related problems, especially when there is fuel scarcity which resulted in long queuing or where the fillings does not conform with planning standards.
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-storey 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, lost of productive hours and delay journey.
Most of these problems identified problems of filling stations still persist in Kaduna 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 location of filling stations in Kaduna North Local Government Area Kaduna State and proffer ways of ensuring strict compliance to planning laws and regulations with regards to petroleum filling stations location. To achieve a desired goal, this work identifies area of high concentration of filling stations in Kaduna North Local Government Area.
Even though some studies had been carried out ,in relation to this, prominent among them are : Assessing the environmental sensitivity of petrol station in Europe,(Davies 2008),optimal location of petrol pumps (Ayuba, 1998),Side potentiality of petrol station based on traffic counts,(Abdulwahhab 2006), Locational pattern of petrol stations in Kaduna (Ikuadabo 1998),Location and distribution of petrol stations in Kaduna (Adamu, 2000) and Application of GIS in locating facilities and services (A case study of petrol stations in NCBD Kenya),(Nyanya 2010).
The studies mentioned above are robust; however there are avenues for further research. Not much had been done for developing nations and moreover the parameters used such as site, geographical location, optimal location e.t.c. used in studying petrol stations are still inadequate. In any case filling stations can not be entirely study using only these criteria’s .they empherical literature had proved that the later class of variables has explanatory powers but the analysis was not taken forward in terms of the inclusion of the use of GIS for studying the spatial location and distribution of petrol stations.