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Title: Awareness And Attitude Of Solid Waste Disposal And Water Pollution In Upper Mahaweli Catchment In Sri Lanka
Authors: Mahees, M.T.M.
Silva, K .T.
Issue Date: 4-Oct-2011
Abstract: Solid waste generation and river water pollution are growing environmental problem in Sri Lanka. The crisis of solid waste disposal and its impact on water pollution cannot be understood and controlled only by technical or engineering strategies. The environmental sociological perspectives are helpful to understand the actual subjective factors and forces of solid waste generation and water pollution. It is very important to comprehend the environmental awareness, attitude, perception and concern of people in the process of sustainable solid waste management and integrated water resource management. This paper basically attempts to analyze the awareness and attitude of people in terms of solid waste disposal and water pollution in upper Mahaweli, Sri Lanka. The sub-catchment of Pinga Oya, a tributary of Mahaweli was used as the main field of this study. This paper is part of the study of effects of socio-economic and political factors in solid waste generation and water pollution in river Mahaweli. Semi-structured questionnaires (200 household & 150 shop-owners) and (35) in-depth interviews with key informants were used to collect quantitative and qualitative data from upper Mahaweli watershed areas. The samples were selected on stratified basis and purposively and data were analyased quantitatively and qualitatively. The secondary information was mostly collected from the sociological literature. The awareness and attitude of people in the upper Mahaweli catchment was found very influential for solid waste disposal and water pollution. Households (86%) are more aware of the environmental issues related to solid waste disposal and water pollution than shop-owners (62%). Awareness of women (74%) is higher than men (52%) and women are conscious on local environmental issues based on environmental health crisis whereas men are interested in national or provincial level issues based on political-economic background. When it comes to environmental attitude of people, the results of this study is found to be deviating from some of the universal trends. Households, female, elders, Sinhalese (ethnic group) and people with lower education level hold stronger environmental attitude and concern. Elders and people with lower education level who maintain closer relationship with local eco-system economically and culturally and frequently subject to environmental health issues are very much conscious about crises related to solid waste and water pollution. As a results, a grassroots environment social movement is emerging among these environmentally concern people against the improper solid waste disposal and water pollution in river Mahaweli.
Appears in Collections:Department of Sociology

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