Domestic water use and conservation practices among the households of Kansenshi and Ndeke residential areas of Ndola city in Zambia
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As cities continue to grow so does demand for water increase among the various users. Understanding domestic water use practices can help to develop water conservation strategies, thereby contributing to efficient management of the water resource. The aim of this study was to examine the domestic water use practices of the households of Kansenshi and Ndeke residential areas of Ndola City in Zambia. A Cross Sectional non-experimental descriptive research design was used. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were employed. Qualitative data was collected from the purposively selected key informant from Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company, Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) and National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) using a semi-structured interview schedule. Quantitative data was collected using a structured questionnaire that was administered to the households. Field observations were also employed. For Ndeke the sampling frame was 105 while the sample size was 82. For Kansenshi the sampling frame was 62 and the sample size was 56. Systematic random sampling was used to select the households and quota sampling was used for determination of the study sites. Two sample Z- proportions test, Two- Independent Sample T-Test and Single Variable Analysis was used to analyse quantitative data while qualitative data was analysed by Content Analysis. Results revealed statistically significant differences in the proportion of respondents practising the following methods; bath tub use (p=0.004) and bucket use (p=0.007) for body wash, cup use (p=0.0001) and tap use (0.0001) for teeth brushing, sprinkler (p= 0.042) and hosepipe (p= 0.022) use for garden watering and basin (p=0.002) and tap (p=0.002) use for dish washing. There was no statistically significant difference (p=0.989) in the proportion of respondents who accessed water from Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company in the two areas. However the level of community awareness on water conservation was higher in Kansenshi than in Ndeke (p=0.002). Two Independent Sample T- Tests indicated that average combined income was higher in Kansenshi than in Ndeke (p= 0.0001) and that monthly payments for water were higher in Kansenshi (p=0.001). Domestic water use practices promoted water conservation as most respondents turned off the taps when not in use and advised members of their households to close the taps when not in use. There were several drivers behind domestic water use practices, these ranged from common practice that became sought of a tradition, comfort and enjoyment, saving measures in terms of water and bills, household fixtures, preferences in terms of which practice was easiest, fast, convenient, efficient and effective, hygiene benefits and weather conditions. This study proposes that as demand for water in cities increase, water resources management strategies can focus on improving adoption of household water conservation practices by residents. Understanding the prevailing water use practices and the drivers behind these practices can aid in developing appropriate domestic water conservation strategies and improve water efficiency. Water conservation measures during dish washing, brushing of teeth, garden watering and bathing must be intensified in high cost areas and focus must also be made on educating communities on the environmental benefits of water conservation. KEYWORDS: Water conservation, water source and water availability.
The University of Zambia
- Natural Sciences