A study of Solid Waste Management in Kaunda Square,Lusaka Urban

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Sikazwe, Sikazwe
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Kaunda Square has been experiencing the problem of indiscriminate dumping of waste for a long time. The most affected areas include the markets, shopping centres, roads and streets, open spaces and school grounds. Lack of adequate and efficient solid waste service delivery system has contributed to unsightly conditions, offensive smells and poses a threat to diarrhoeal diseases transmitted by flies, rats and other vermin. It is against this background that the study was aimed at investigating factors influencing indiscriminate disposal of solid waste in Kaunda Square. The objective of the study included examining the current storage systems at household and community levels; assessing the community's knowledge and attitude towards the dumping of solid waste; examining the impact of the community based business enterprise on solid waste management; exploring the community's potential to participate in solid waste management; and assessing the community's strategies currently being used for management of waste.The research design comprised a sample of 40 respondents. Random sampling was used to select the respondents who participated in the study. A questionnaire was administered to a randomly selected sample of 40 respondents. The findings of the study reveal that Lusaka City Council has no capacity including equipment, funding and resources to manage solid waste. Consequently, LCC does not collect any waste from individual residences in Kaunda Square. This scenario has opened up prospects for private sector participation in solid waste management. In Kaunda Square, G.L Carriers (Z) Ltd. is the sole collector of waste. Limited community involvement limits residents' participation and therefore they are not able to take up key roles in the management of waste. The study concluded that focus group discussions, surveys and public meetings are some of the necessary tools that can be used in determining the concerns and opinions of various stakeholders. Nevertheless, results indicate that awareness amongst the population has built up naturally to a point where waste is regarded as an important issue. Lack of appropriate storage receptacles at household level is also an added problem. Residents utilise refuse pits and their own dust bins to dispose of waste. Alternatively, the waste is simply dumped in an open, communal area. The waste dumped in this manner has a negative effect on the environment especially with respect to ground water contamination and public health in general. .At community level, the communal containers provided are not adequate to provide quality and reliable service to meet the needs and aspirations of the community. One important opportunity that should be exploited is the willingness of the community to pay for the collection of waste. However, residents have different affordability levels and therefore, there is need to accommodate a wider range of income groups that have varying needs. The current situation is that not everyone is paying for refuse collection because there is no appropriate collection mechanism put in place. This in turn limits the ability of the service provider to provide quality service to meet community's needs. Bearing in mind the above findings, it is therefore imperative for policy makers and programme managers to devise solid waste management strategies appropriate to local circumstances that will deliver a sustainable community impact.
Refuse and refuse disposal-Lusaka, Zambia , Municipal Services-Lusaka, Zambia