The influence of knowledge towards water resource protection practices: a case study of Ng’ombe.

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Mukwavi, Iza Chimbo
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The University of Zambia
The goal of this study was to establish how knowledge on water resource protection influenced practices involving water resources amongst residents of Ng'ombe living within the Chamba river buffer zone. This was done in order to determine why buffer zone encroachment and degradation appear to be common in Zambia despite the country's laws and policies that have been in existence since 1964. The three key objectives were (1) To establish whether the residents of Ng’ombe were aware of the existing laws and policies on water resource protection in Zambia; (2) To determine what effect knowledge on IWRM principles had on the practices of the Ng’ombe residents within the river buffer zone; and (3) To determine the role the mandated authorities play in sensitizing local communities on water resource protection. The data collection was done using random sampling for the collection of quantitative and qualitative data from 156 households living within the Chamba stream buffer zone in Ng’ombe. The qualitative data was collected from three significant Zambian government organizations that are mandated by law to protect the Zambian water resources using purposive sampling. These were The Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) and the Lusaka City Council (LCC). It was observed that the majority of the respondents were not aware of the existing laws and policies on water resource protection as only 13% had an idea of the importance of a buffer zone and 11% had an idea on the prescribed minimum distance of 50m for a river buffer zone according to the Zambian law. It was also found that those who had knowledge on water resource protection still practiced negatively impacting activities within the riparian buffer zone. This was mostly related to the legal interactions on matters pertaining to the protection of water resources between the communities and the pertinent authorities being minimal. The results of this study also showed that a variety of other elements, including behavioral modification, the introduction of environmentally friendly alternative livelihoods, and improved educational levels, are crucial for assuring the protection of water resources in communities. In conclusion, the findings demonstrated that knowledge alone was not sufficient in influencing positive practices in water resource protection amongst the residents living within the Chamba buffer zone. Key words: Knowledge, Practices, Riparian buffer zone, Water resource protection
Master of Engineering in Project Management
Water resource protection--Zambia. , Water--Laws and legislation.