Sustainable Household Practices for Environmental Sustainability in Informal Settlements: Insights From Kanyama Ward 10, Lusaka, Zambia

Matildah Kapembwa, Kabwe Harnadih Mubanga


This study on sustainable household practices for transforming environmental concerns into environmental solutions in informal settlements was conducted in Kanyama Ward 10, Zones 98 and 100, Lusaka District. The study identified household practices among residents that could contribute to enhancing household environmental sustainability and assessed the costs and resident’s willingness to pay for household greening. Data were collected using structured interviews administered to 145 residents and interview guides for 11 key informants. Quantitative data were analysed using chi-square, two-sample t-test and the Pearson Product Moment correlation, while qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis. The results showed that the major environmental concerns in Zones 98 and 100 of Kanyama Ward 10, prioritised from the resident’s point of view included waste management with 79 % in Zone 100 and 82 % in Zone 98, flooding 67 % in Zone 100 and 80 % in Zone 98 and poor drainage system 51% in Zone 100 and 59 % in Zone 98. Some of the household practices by residents capable of enhancing environmental sustainability were identified as maintaining sanitary home environment at 42 % in Zone 98 and 61% in Zone 100, disposing waste in bins 11 % in Zone 98 and 15 % in Zone 100 and planting trees/vegetables 7 % in Zone 98 and 24 % in Zone 100. Results show that more sustainable household practices in Zone 100 resulted in reduced environmental concerns. There was a significant positive correlation between household practice cost incurred for greening and average monthly income earned by respondents (r = 0.500; p <0.05). This meant that households with higher monthly household incomes spent more on household greening. Furthermore, household income levels had an insignificant effect on the resident’s willingness to pay for household greening (????2=0.781, p = 0.321).

In conclusion, resident’s engagement in sustainable household practices and willingness to pay for greening in informal settlements was significantly influenced by their levels of household income as there was a relationship between the level of income and cost of environmental sustainability. Residents’ attitudes towards household greening and levels of income could prove to be either a hindrance or motivating factor in achieving environmental sustainability. As such, the study recommended sensitization, providing entrepreneurship skills and behavioural change campaigns in the area in order to instil the importance of household greening and improve their levels of income.

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