Proposed Educational Activities For University of Zambia Water Users Arising From An Enviromental Water Audit Of the Institution

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Chanda, Flaviuor Sisala
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Water supply management and wastewater disposal is a widespread problem, which can have significant impacts on an individual's daily life, health and the general environment. This study explored the situation of water management and wastewater disposal at the University of Zambia Great East Road Campus (UNZA-GER) located in Lusaka, Zambia. The study used the theoretical model of hydrosocial cycle in order to understand and explain the interconnected systems of UNZA-GER fresh or portable water supply management and its wastewater disposal system. Fresh/ portable water and wastewater are collectively referred to as water in this study. The process of the research involved three main connected stages, with one stage leading into the other. The first stage involved conducting an environmental water audit at UNZA-GER using the theoretical concept of the hydrosocial cycle. In the second stage, the findings of the study were presented and analysed. In the third and final stage the analysed findings of the water audit were used as a basis for proposing environmental education (EE) activities, which UNZA-GER Administration could effect. This last stage incorporated a process called Environmental Action Learning (EAL). The study adopted a qualitative research design, although few quantitative aspects were also utilized. Interviews were conducted and both non-structured and structured questionnaires were used depending on the theme. Observations as well as document review were also used as data collection techniques. The study results indicated mat quite a significant amount of portable water, at the time of this study, was being lost between the points of abstraction and the points of use xn especially in the old residences, with old defective fittings, thereby inflating the amount of portable water consumed. The state of affairs was attributed to inadequate finances, old water infrastructures and unsustainable values and attitudes of water users coupled with increased student population and vandalism. The concept of Environmental Action Learning (EAL) has been proposed in this study, which involves an action orientation on the part of the various water users at UNZAGER campus to solve the problem. For sustainable environmental management of UNZA-GER water resource it is required that the portable water flow is measured, the old corroded distribution galvanised iron (GI) pipes are replaced with PVC pipes and the metal potable water storage tanks on rooftops replaced with PVC tanks of much bigger capacity. The dissertation also looked at wastewater management at UNZA-GER and it was noted that there is no treatment of wastewater as it is discharged into the LWSC sewer lines. However, there are numerous processes used to clean up wastewater depending on the type and quantity of contaminants that UNZA-GER can benefit from. Wastewater can be highly treated and reused as reclaimed water and some treatment facilities are capable of producing useful by-products such as methane and organic fertilisers from sewage sludge. Wastewater if not properly handled can have adverse impacts such as odour and breeding of mosquitoes, responsible for the spread of malaria UNZA-GER should introduce Environmental Education in form of Environmental Action Learning (EAL) among the various water users, particularly in the curricula of students for improved and sustainable water management. For administrators, the University stands to benefit greatly if it introduced the EAL which could be informal, formal and non-formal. This suggestion would lead to making informed decisions and XIII actions. The university would greatly cut down on the cost of water, chemicals and energy if it introduced EAL. Through EAL, the university also needed to embark on vigorous campaigns against vandalism and water wastage, coupled with measures to protect the water facilities. The Rubber trees near water lines should also be replaced. With these proposed measures in place, the university could significantly cut down on portable water losses and the cost of providing it, thereby being able to manage its water sustainably.
Water--Pollution , Enviromental Auditing , Water--Management