'Stakeholders' participation in solid waste management in selected Zambian Urban Primary Schools of Lusaka

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Hambulo, Caesar
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Solid waste management (SWM) has become a global burning environmental issue influenced by rapid population growth, urbanization, socio-economic development and the consumerism syndrome of the complex society. Zambia, like many other countries, has not been spared from environmental challenges such as huge heaps of solid waste in undesignated places. Solid waste management in schools and communities desires knowledge, positive attitudes and active participation by all stakeholders. The aim of the study was to establish whether stakeholders did participate in solid waste management in selected Zambian urban primary schools of Lusaka in a quest to minimize and mitigate the effects of solid waste. The objectives of the study shadowed on assessing knowledge, attitudes and establishing challenges pupils, teachers and other respondents encountered in implementing solid waste management. A descriptive survey design was employed to analyze, interpret and report the present status of social institution, group or area. The sample was drawn from Lusaka Urban District and consisted of 60 grade six pupils, 36 primary school teachers, 6 primary school administrators, 6 officials from the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, 2 officers from Lusaka City Council Waste Management Unit and 2 officers from Zambia Environmental Management Agency. The study embraced a qualitative and quantitative research design. The research instruments used to collect data were questionnaires, guided interview schedules and focus group discussion schedule. The results show that most stakeholders (70%) lacked knowledge on waste management due to inadequate education, sensitization and public awareness. Teachers, pupils and officials from the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education did not get adequate knowledge from Zambia Environmental Management Agency and Lusaka City Council Waste Management Unit on solid waste management to help them manage waste prudently. The findings further revealed that peoples’ negative attitudes towards solid waste made them to dispose it in undesignated places resulting in huge dumps of garbage in drainages, roads, school grounds and behind school wall fences. Other challenges faced by institutions in tackling the problem of waste mismanagement included: inadequate finances, lack of technical capacity and transportation of solid waste. The study recommends strengthening EE in schools, using innovative science to recycle waste and equiping teachers, pupils and every citizenry with relevant knowledge in waste management. Finally, it is recommended that all institutions must be active in environmental issues such as waste management.
Refuse and refuse disposal-Lusaka,Zambia