An assessment of knowledge ,attitudes and practices towards waste management among Ng'ombe residents

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Sichaaza, Hannah Muzyamba
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This report is based on the assessment of knowledge, practices and attitudes towards waste management among Ng'ombe residents in Lusaka district. The main purpose of the study was to assess the knowledge,practices and the attitudes towards waste management. The following research questions were addressed: (i) What are the attitudes of the residents towards waste management? (ii) What are the knowledge levels of the residents on waste management? (iii) What are the practices of Ng'ombe residents regarding waste management? A mixed design was used in this study. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods to answer the research questions. For this reason, three methods of data collection were used, the questionnaire, interview guide and focus group discussion. The study population consisted of both male and female adults of 20 years and above from selected households; community leaders, Environmental Health Technicians, Community Based Enterprises (CBEs) workers and Lusaka City Council (LCC) waste management staff. The study revealed that all respondents were knowledgeable about the risks of having waste in their environment. However, they poorly handled the waste. They lacked knowledge on how to manage waste which included aspects of waste minimisation, recycling, composting, segregation and separation. Results also indicated that health providers were the main source of knowledge about waste management. The other sources of knowledge were Community Based Enterprises (CBEs), megaphone announcement by the council, television, parents and radio.As regard to practices, the results indicated that only a small fraction of residents used the waste management scheme by the Community Based Enterprises (CBEs) for waste disposal. The majority used illegal dumping, disposing waste in the drainages, roads,unfinished structures, nearby stream and also the bush at the end of the compound. Some residents asked a mad person in the compound to dispose waste for free and anywhere.The other common methods used were pit digging and burning. The residents did not recycle waste. The common type of waste recycling was that of exchanging finished cooking oil containers with sweeping brooms. The other health hazard type of waste recycling that was being practised was that of refilling empty water bottles with water from the tap and latter reselling to the community. The bottles are picked from places of functions such as weddings and meetings. Residents did not practice composting and did not separate waste or segregate it, they mixed all types of waste in the sacks, in the pits and some burnt all the various types of waste together.The results indicated that residents had negative attitudes towards waste management.The majority of the respondents indicated that it was the responsibility of the council to manage the waste and not the residents. This was because the council collects ground rates from the public which should enable the council to keep the community clean. Respondents also indicated that the government should employ people to keep the community clean and also that garbage collection should be for free as it was before in United National Independence Party (UNIP) government under Kenneth Kaunda's presidency.
Waste Management-Lusaka