Perceptions and Socio-Economic Implications of Treated wastewater Irrigation of Vegetables in Urban Ares: A case study of Garden compound in Lusaka

Thumbnail Image
Mudenda, Milimo J
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The study focused on the perceptions and socioeconomic repercussions of irrigating vegetables using treated wastewater in Garden Compound in Lusaka. This qualitative study was based on stratified sample population of forty (40) comprising wastewater vegetable irrigators and non wastewater vegetable irrigators, household consumers, restaurant patrons and restaurant operators. Questionnaires were used to obtain the primary data.The results of the study revealed that 95% of the sample population understood the meaning of wastewater including identification of its sources. Wastewater irrigation was considered a safe and acceptable practice to 75% of the respondents while over 80% did not approve reuse of wastewater for purposes other than irrigation. The study also revealed that 90% of the respondents would be willing to consume the wastewater irrigated vegetables on condition that one or more measures to reduce contamination were applied on the vegetables or the wastewater itself It was observed that the reuse of wastewater for irrigation by farmers in Garden Compound was motivated by the availability and nutrient value and costless nature of wastewater and the main deterrents included public health concerns vis-a-vis diarrheal diseases and the bad odour; and social stigma attached to wastewater.The study revealed that the socioeconomic status of wastewater using farmers in Garden Compound was generally lower than that of non wastewater using farmers. This was against the assumption that the use of wastewater lowered the cost of producing vegetables in the Compound.The study recommends that more research in wastewater should be done to provide information on the social and economic costs and benefits of wastewater irrigation. It is also recommended that government recognises wastewater as resource which can be beneficial to society.
Treated Water Irrigation---Vegetables---Socio-economic impact , Water Management