Educational Implications of Damming the Chalimbana River in Chongwe District of Zambia

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Mumba, Makumba Darius
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Water is a scarce and finite resource with no substitute. All life on earth depends on water. The challenges of water resource management anywhere need concerted efforts by various players such as government, the community or dam owners. This study was aimed at evaluating and describing educational implications of damming the Chalimbana River in Chongwe District of Zambia. In this regard, the study investigated the social impacts of damming the river on the local people. The views and experiences of local people along the Chalimbana River were solicited. Through this study, it is hoped that the source of conflict over the waters of the Chalimbana catchment area would be understood. The study further aimed at designing a proposed educational programme to address conflicts arising from the damming of the same River. This is in view of the fact that education can be used to address human environmental conflicts. The study was both qualitative and quantitative in nature as it captured views and experiences of respondents from which numerical figures were derived. The content analysis method was used to analyse data. In order to achieve the above stated objectives,respondents were purposively sampled and were drawn from the lower Chalimbana River Catchment.Primary information was gathered using separate questionnaires for each of the ten groups of respondents who were: teachers, local people, pupils, agriculturalists, dam owners, forestry officers, water board officials, social workers, the Royal Establishment (Nkomeshya) and headmen. The study found that the major conflicts in the study area arising from the damming of the Chalimbana River were brought about by the following trigger factors: (i) lower catchment areas dried up in the dry season months from August to December of each year. (ii)local people broke dam embankments illegally in order to supply water to their gardens. (iii)over exploitation of water as a common resource by dam owners.With regard to educational implications of damming the Chalimbana River, this study established that topics and issues which needed to be covered should focus on positive and negative aspects of damming the river with emphasis on the sustainability of the river. This study also established that social impacts of damming the river were many, such as the displacement of local people, which led to migration to other areas in search of water as a resource. Arising from the findings of this study, various recommendations have been made, amongst which is the need for a localised environmental education programme to educate people along the Chalimbana River regarding the damming of the river and its sustainability.
Water--Zambia , Water Pollution--Zambia , Dams--Zambia