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Title: The effectiveness of environmental education on waste management practices in Mtumbane and Maheng townships in Port St. Johns, Eastern Cape
Authors: Njiva, Innocent Dalumzi 
Issue Date: 2018
In this democratic era, two of the largest previously disadvantaged communities in Port St Johns i.e. Mtumbane and Maheng were still without waste collection services. Solid waste was dumped indiscriminately and posed risks to health and the environment. To help these communities to achieve better health, this study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of environmental education on waste management practices (WMP). The key objectives entailed establishing the knowledge, attitude and behaviour of sampled households towards WMP; evaluating the intervention of the 4Rs (reuse, reduce, recycle and recover) of WMP as taught to Grades 4 to 7 residing in the previously sampled households and assessing the impact of the intervention on WMP in these households.
This study was undertaken in three phases. The pre-intervention and post-intervention phases included questionnaire administration occurring over two months. The intervention comprised the teaching of the 4Rs of WMP and the completion of a daily diary by Grades 4 to 7 residing in the previously sampled households.This study focused on statistically significant differences that were reported between pre- and post- intervention. The differences were meant to establish if the respondents had any changes in knowledge regarding solid waste management.

Results showed that the use of plastic bags increased which showed a significant difference (p-value 0.034).Indiscriminate dumping of waste in Mtumbane decreased whereas in Maheng, there was no difference with their practices. Among the majority of respondents from Mtumbane, waste was regarded as something useful (p-value 0.003). The education associated with waste management for both townships increased by more than 15% and that made a significant difference (p-value 0.025). Further, more than half of the respondents in Mtumbane separated their waste. The results show that there was a significant difference (p-value 0.001) in Mtumbane and not in Maheng. This significant difference may be attributed to the distribution of adequate information as the two townships vary in distance from the municipal offices i.e. Mtumbane: three kilometres and Maheng: 15 km). It was found that the number of respondents willing to pay for waste collection services increased post-intervention (p-value 0.003).

It appears that in every aspect when pre- and post-intervention were reported, there was a positive difference after the intervention phase. Four recommendations are proposed:
(1) organising solid waste cleaning campaigns and environmental education in schools and communities; (2) the introduction of the 4Rs to communities; (3) the provision of communal waste skips and (4) the use of incentives to foster proper waste disposal practices. It is important for all future studies to consider a method for disseminating important information to the community in order that waste management strategies can be fully and successfully implemented.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Health Sciences: Environmental Health, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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