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Improving urban water quality for livelihoods enhancement in the Odaw-Korle river catchment of Accra, Ghana

Improving urban water quality for livelihoods enhancement in the Odaw-Korle river catchment of Accra, Ghana

Abraham, Ernest Mensah (2011) Improving urban water quality for livelihoods enhancement in the Odaw-Korle river catchment of Accra, Ghana. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Water and environmental resources which provide opportunities for households are threatened by human activities that leads to pollution. The research objectives were to understand the contribution water makes to the livelihoods of urban and peri-urban households; the factors influencing perceptions, attitudes and behaviour in relation to surface water and environmental quality, and measures for promoting community participation in water and environmental management. Ten communities were selected in Accra and its surrounding communities to reflect different levels of infrastructure provision for the study. Four focus group discussions were held in each community, with a mixed group, men, women, and young adults. Issues which emerged were investigated further in a structured household questionnaire survey involving 443 respondents. Key informant interviews were held with the most important government and non government regulatory, research and service provision departments and organizations in water, sanitation, and the environment sectors. Water samples from some of the selected communities were analyzed in the laboratory to compare with respondents’ perceptions. Among the households surveyed, 59.14% were engaged in a water dependent occupation which contributed over 80% of household income in some cases. The study also found that perceptions of water and environment are influenced by the existing social and cultural setting. There were common concepts which helped groups to interpret and make meaning from their environment. The prospects for successful water and environmental interventions can be enhanced through an understanding of this local knowledge and perceptions. There was no clear relationship between attitudes and environmental behaviour or between attitudes and socioeconomic status. Actual behaviour was influenced by ability to pay for services, their availability and the influence of shared community norms. Although citizen participation in water and environmental management decision making is very limited at present, community collective action holds good prospects for future interventions in water and environmental management.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Water, environmental resources, livelihoods, urban households, surface water, environmental quality, community participation, environmental management, Ghana, Africa
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Science > Natural Resources Institute > Natural Resources Department
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2017 17:32

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