Assessing the extent to which construction activities affect the environment in Uganda.
Kabasiita, Mary Vivian
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The construction sector is considered as one of the main sources of environmental pollution in the world. It has massive direct and indirect effects on the environment. Kampala is witnessing widespread construction projects which increase the pressure on the echo system and generate various pollutants. Uganda is suffering from deteriorating echo systems due to limited natural resources, deteriorating economic and political situation, escalating population growth and lack of awareness of environmental issues. The aim of this study is to assess the extent to which construction activities affect the environment in Uganda and propose some suggestions to curb down these adverse impacts. A total of 88 questionnaires were distributed to professionals (architects, engineers and structural engineers) working in the construction industry and this sample was generated through stratified sampling then random sampling. The environmental impacts are categorized into 9 groups that is reduction in air quality and climate, water pollution, waste generation, soil contamination, transportation issues, local issues, accidents, resource depletion and effects on bio diversity and eco system. The results of this study revealed that resource depletion, reduction in air quality and climate and effects on bio diversity and eco systems are the most significant environmental impacts of construction activities. The results also revealed that labour and those working in the construction sector are the most exposed group of people to health problems such as respiratory problems, hearing impairment, hypertension, annoyance, sleep disturbance and other cardiovascular adverse effects. It is recommended to enhance the knowledge and awareness of construction participants with regards to environmental impacts of construction and enact strict laws to attempt curbing down the adverse effects of construction activities such as enforcing institutions to conduct environmental impact assessment (EIA) in the early stage of the projects. The results of this study can help decision makers to identify the major construction impacts on the environment and make environmentally friendly construction plans in the early stages of construction.