Perceptions and roles of Kiteezi landfill community in the management of leachate
Gbolo, George Duku
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Landfills are a preferred option for municipal solid waste disposal in developing countries. However, landfills produce leachates which flow to the surrounding communities of the landfill. The leachate poses a great risk to the health of the communities around and far from the landfill as it contaminates the water sources and soil environment. Therefore, it is important for communities around landfills to be informed about leachate management so as to protect themselves and the environment. The objective of this study was to assess the perceptions and roles of Kiteezi village community in the management of leachate from the landfill used by Kampala city and its suburbs in Uganda. A household survey was conducted among Kiteezi village community, using a cross sectional design. A non- structured questionnaire was used for data capture. Up to 60 households within the Kiteezi leachate vicinity were randomly selected for the study. The results showed that the communities valued leachate water for irrigation, car washing, brick laying and household uses; with minimum considerations for implications to community health. The communities reported leachate water to be filthy as it flowed into the streams. The leachate would make stream water brown to blackish in colour; attributes resented by households, particularly for cooking, drinking, bathing and washing clothes. The affected families boiled water from the streams to make it safer for domestic use. The families also participated in the improvement of leachate drainage systems, often making them wider to allow for proper flow of the leachate away from their domicile. To be able to construct these structures, communities were mobilised through meetings and awareness campaigns spearheaded by the local village administration. Elders in the community played a major role in extending indigenous and other information related to leachate management in the area.