Solid Waste Management in Ndola Urban Primary Schools of Zambai
Mulanwa, Nosiku Florence
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The environment is our mainstay. Our survival and that of future generations depends on how well we preserve our environment today. The effects of global warming are obvious as can be seen by drastic climate changes (unpredictable climatic conditions) arising from among other things the poor management of solid waste. This study investigated solid waste management in Primary Schools of Ndola Urban in an effort to find out why indiscriminate disposal of solid waste among these schools and surrounding areas has continued. The lack of proper solid waste management systems in these schools has continued to degrade the environment not only around the schools but globally. The study used a descriptive survey which involved the systematic collection and presentation of data. Questionnaires and focus group discussions were used. While pupils participated in focus group discussions, the teachers were given questionnaires to complete. School managers and Ndola City Council (NCC) and Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) officials were interviewed face to face due to their busy work schedules. The study sample was composed of 80 pupils, 16 teachers, 4 administrators, 1 NCC and 1 ZEMA official. The major findings of the study showed that the schools under study continued to burn and bury solid waste despite being aware of the negative effects that these practices had on the environment. The study also highlighted the challenges faced by the various stakeholders in solid waste management in Ndola Urban Schools and these included poor funding and lack of equipment. It was also established that some respondents were aware of the effects of poor solid waste management on the environment and measures that should be taken to correct the situation. The study established that all the stakeholders in the implementation of Environmental Education with regards to solid waste management faced a number of challenges. The study revealed that the Ministry of Education had a poor mechanism of communicating with its officials as some of the information that was known by some administrators was not known by the teachers. Further, the study established that most teachers lacked knowledge on Environmental Education which made it difficult for them to acknowledge it, let alone teach and practice proper solid waste management. The gap that the study established in the implementation of solid waste management in Ndola Urban schools was the lack of enforcement by mandated authorities and uncoordinated efforts by stakeholders. The study concluded that lack of enforcement, by the local authority, of proper solid waste management and the lack of funding for both schools and monitoring authority led to the continued and environmentally unsustainable practices. The study recommended the close cooperation of schools and local authority to effectively manage solid waste. It also recommended the sorting at source to enhance the 3Rs thus reduce, reuse and recycle at all levels namely home, school, council and industries. The study also recommended that government should provide incentives to encourage private sector participation in waste management. Solid waste management can be a source of wealth and job creation. The study recommends that Zambia, through local councils, engages Private Public Partnerships to find ways of effectively managing solid waste. Inculcating this knowledge at a tender age in primary school will ensure a change of attitude and correct disposal of waste will be habitual. This will promote and enhance cleaner and healthier communities for generations to come.
The University of Zambia
- Education