An assessment of the role of environmental education in addressing deforestation in Kaumba Area of Monze East, Southern Zambia

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Mwanamuchende, Hespin
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The University of Zambia
The noticeable increase in environmental degradation at global, regional and local levels is attributed to deforestation as one of the major causes (Pearce, 2001). The study aimed at assessing the role of Environmental Education in addressing deforestation in Kaumba area of Monze East, Southern Zambia after environmental educators visited the area in1992 and 2008. The study objectives were to: state all EE activities that took place in Kaumba area of Monze east, identify challenges that lead to deforestation in the study area, determine whether EE addressed the problem of deforestation in the area and lastly, to suggest alternative measures that could be employed to mitigate deforestation. The study applied a case study research design and was purely qualitative in nature. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, unstructured observation techniques and Focus Group Discussion schedules. The sample size of this study was 80 which comprised 10 teachers, 18 pupils selected from grade 7, 8 and 9 classes, 1 Forestry Department worker, 1 Agricultural Extension worker, and 50 farmers. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the collected data. Research findings revealed many environmental activities that took place in Kaumba such as; tree-planting in woodlots, participation by residents in farming tillage, nurserytree raising, cleaning surroundings, funding for EE activities and Conservation Agriculture Scaling-Up (CASU), greening school lawns and planting buffer zones. This showed the visibility of Environmental Education in the area. Challenges which led to deforestation in the area even after all the above EE activities took place include; limited sources of income, poor rainfall patterns and soils, poverty, high population rates, weak government policies, negligence, drying up of rivers, use of firewood for cooking, charcoal burning and many more. The role EE played in addressing deforestation which was taught and demonstrated by DAPP, SCAFE and Forestry Department include; nursery-tree raising, holding workshops to teach people about forest conservation, xviii planting woodlots, conservation tree-harvest, making heat-retaining clay stoves, fishfarming, bee-keeping and forest conservation rules. At the time of this research, only a few people were seen using woodlots to answer their daily forest needs. Alternative measures to mitigate deforestation in Kaumba were; empowering people with soft loans, reforestation of the entire study area, emphasis on conservation treeharvest, bee-keeping and fish-farming and allow EE to stand as a single subject in formal schools. The study recommended that the whole study area be reforested, that charcoal burning be stopped completely, EE stands as a single subject in the formal curriculum, bee-keeping projects be implemented in Kaumba so that forests could be saved in the process of reserving them for bee-keeping. Areas of future research were also tackled.
Deforestation-Monze, Zambia , Forest Protection-Monze, Zambia , Environmental Education-Monze,Zambia , Forestry-Environmental Aspects-Monze,Zambia