The study investigated the encroachment of settlements, noise level and prevalent health challenges of quarry operations near Shasha market in Akure North Local Government of Ondo State. The footprint of buildings was digitised from the georeferenced Google earth image in ArcGIS environment and extracted as polygon map. Sound recording system at 250 Hz was employed to measure noise levels at multiple buffered ring interval: 0 – 0.5 km, 0.5 – 1 km, 1 – 1.5 km and 1.5 – 2.0 km relative to Stone Work Quarry Company as the reference location. Other quarry companies that also exist in the study area are Johnson and FCC. Data on the prevalent health problems was obtained from residents and staff of the companies. Structured questionnaire was administered on 100 randomly chosen residents and staff of the quarry companies in order to gather data on the prevalent health problems in the study area. Percentage was used to analyse the respondents. The study revealed that the encroachment of buildings between 0 and 0.5 km is very small, from 0.5 to 1 km is small, between 1 and 1.5 km is moderate, and from 1.5 to 2.0 km is high. While very high clustering of buildings outside the buffered rings between 0 and 2 km was noticed at the northwestern, southeastern and southern zones of the study area. The noise level, 80 – 90 dB was measured between 0 and 0.5 km, 70 – 80 dB for distance from 0.5 to 1 km, 60 – 70 dB for distance between 1 and 1.5 km, 50 – 60 dB for distance from 1.5 to 2.0 km and 40 – 50 dB was recorded outside the fringe of 1.5 – 2 km ring. Responses from interviews showed that within 0.5 – 1 km, 90% of the residents suffered from shock, catarrh 45%, and cough 30%; and within 1.5 – 2 km, shock is 40%, catarrh 20% and cough 15 %. The study concluded that cracks on some building walls were noticed within 0 – 0.5 km range. Residents living within 0 – 0.5 km and 0.5 – 1 km will suffer severe hearing loss. Moderately severe hearing loss for within the ring 1 – 1.5 km. Moderate hearing loss / moderately severe hearing loss for within 1.5 – 2 km ring. Mild hearing loss / moderate hearing loss at the fringe greater than 2 km distance. Residents living close to the quarries would be exposed to varying health issues such as shock, catarrh and cough.
Key Word: Granite quarrying, Settlement, Noise pollution, Health impact, GIS