Awareness effects lead contamination in Zambia's Makululu and Kasanda Mine Compounds of Kabwe District
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The principal areas and causes of environmental degradation include land degradation through erosion, land, air and water pollution to mention only but a few. Many of these environmental issues emanate from mining activities in one way or the other. Although these environmental concerns are increasingly reflected in sectoral policies such as those of mining, tourism, agriculture, among others, the public awareness of environmental issues and individual responsibilities are poor in urban and rural communities. This, with other factors made the study sought to establish residents’ awareness of the effects of environmental hazards in form of lead contamination in Makululu and Kasanda Mine Compounds of Kabwe district. To achieve the aim above, the objectives of the study were to establish the state of awareness by residents of Makululu and Kasanda Mine Compounds of Kabwe on the effects of lead contamination on their environment; to determine the nature of sensitisation that has been done concerning effects of lead contamination in their lives; to investigate residents’ participation in different activities aimed at reducing the effects of lead contamination in the affected areas and to establish the contributions made by Environmental Education (EE) to address effects of lead contamination in the lives of Makululu and Kasanda Mine Compounds residents. The study used the general research question to establish the state of awareness by residents of the study areas about effects of lead contamination on their environment. The general question was addressed through the following specific research questions: how aware are the residents of the study areas about the effects of lead contamination on their environment? What sensitisation programmes on effects of lead contamination have been conducted in the study areas? How involved were residents of Makululu and Kasanda Mine Compounds in activities aimed at reducing levels of lead contamination in the study areas? What contributions have been made by EE to address effects of lead contamination in the study areas? The study used a survey design which was mainly qualitative though complemented by quantitative approaches to collect data using semi-structured questionnaires and interview guides. The sample size was 125 respondents and comprised 105 residents in Makululu and Kasanda Mine Compounds, 20 facilitators from NGOs and other government ministries. The study established that most of the respondents from the category of residents were aware of effects of lead contamination. However, the knowledge has not been translated into behavioural and social change to influence residents’ life style in regard to effects of lead contamination as attitude of residents towards the environment continue to be bad. This was due to lack of organised way of accessing information about effects of lead contamination in the study areas. Further revelations from the study were that the main ways in which residents were accessing information were through the clinic and neighbours. Among the major challenges faced in the awareness programme included lack of funds and few trained facilitators. Resulting from these challenges the study recommended that the Kabwe municipal council should fund awareness programmes and 6 train more environmental facilitators. The study also suggests that other possible ways EE could address environmental hazards included raising awareness programmes through localised curriculum, use of drama, theatre and television among others.
- Education