Effects of climate change-induced flooding on onsite sanitation services: a case study of Kanyama compound in Lusaka, Zambia

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Habanyama, Miyanda
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The University of Zambia
Kanyama, a densely populated peri urban area in Lusaka, Zambia, is characterized by its high poverty levels and inadequate infrastructure, making it particularly vulnerable to environmental challenges. This research addresses the pressing issue of climate change-induced flooding and its effects on onsite sanitation services in Kanyama. Employing both qualitative and quantitative methods, the research involved 210 respondents from six wards in Kanyama. Through systematic random sampling of households and purposive sampling of key informants, the study collected data using a questionnaire and in-depth interviews. The data was evaluated using predictive models of Root Mean Square Error and R-squared values in the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Version 22). The findings highlighted adverse effects on OSSs through contamination of water caused by the users of the facilities, infrastructure damage, and overflowing of pit-latrines/septic tanks contributed by the climate change-induced flooding. Whereby, majority of respondents, 68%, reported witnessing changes in temperatures, while 63% demonstrated an understanding of climate change. Notably, 73% agreed, having experienced changes in rainfall patterns. Moreover, 72% of respondents in Kanyama have had observed increased floods, with only 28% indicating otherwise. The analysis indicated that, The R-squared values of 0.431, 0.427, and 0.373 obtained in the statistical analysis reveal significant relationships between flood-related variables and their effects in Kanyama. Specifically, these values indicate that 43.1% of the variance in water contamination, 42.7% in infrastructure damage, and 37.3% in the overflowing of pit-latrines/septic tanks can be explained by the flood area cover, inundation depth, and flood rains. These figures suggest that these independent variables, related to the extent and severity of flooding, substantially influence the outcomes studied. Although not all variability is captured, a considerable portion is, demonstrating the robustness of the models in highlighting the key factors contributing to flood impacts in this community The chi-squared statistics calculated for the study—234.16 for water contamination, 214.564 for infrastructure damage, and 152.132 for overflowing of pit-latrines/septic tanks—demonstrate substantial discrepancies between observed and expected outcomes. Suggesting that flood-related variables profoundly impact water safety, infrastructure integrity, and sanitation system functionality in Kanyama. Such statistical results highlight the critical influence of flooding on exacerbating these issues, reinforcing the necessity for targeted interventions and robust flood management strategies in this vulnerable community. The qualitative data results, identified key themes, including awareness of climate change effects, diverse beliefs about climate change causes, varying community awareness levels, and the necessity for tailored education. The study also showcased strategies through themes, employed by public-private partnerships, government initiatives, community engagement, subsidized services, and health risk prevention to address sanitation challenges. A sustainability framework aimed at improving onsite sanitation services during floods is proposed, emphasizing drainage systems, awareness campaigns, infrastructure development, waste management, and partnerships to enhance community resilience against climate change-induced flooding. The findings emphasize the vital role of continuous collaboration between government, private organizations, and communities to foster awareness, promote climate resilience, and empower residents, ensuring sustainable solutions and improved sanitation services amidst changing climatic conditions in Kanyama.
Thesis of Master of Science in Sanitation