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People’s awareness on effects of open burning of household waste in Kinondoni Municipality, Dar-es-Salaam

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INTRODUCTION Open burning is the burning of any matter in such a manner that its products are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through an adequate stack, duct or chimney. The materials burnt include paper, trees, trash, brush, leaves, cans, leather, plastics, grass, and other debris where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the air the contents of which results into health and environmental effects such as bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, immune system repression, reproductive system disorders, birth defects and others. OBJECTIVE To assess people’s knowledge on the health and environmental effects associated with open burning of household wastes at Kinondoni Municipality in Dar es Salaam City. MATERIALS AND METHODS This was a cross sectional descriptive study that involved 300 respondents. Structured closed and open ended questionnaire were used in data collection and the study was carried in between February to May, 2007. Data coding was done during data collection & quantitative data analysis was done through SPSS Version 12, a computer package programme, whereas qualitative data sociological/anthropological methods in data analysis were used. RESULTS Health and environmental awareness of people on effects of open burning practice was high (61.7%). However, out of 300 respondents, 213(71.0%) reported to continue using open burning as their final disposal mechanism due to poor existing infrastructure (76.0%), cost implication ( 94.8%). Low frequency of waste collection (94.3%) and as normal practice habit (46%). CONCLUSION The results from this study showed that people are aware of the health and environmental effects associated with open burning of household wastes. However the existing infrastructure, low frequency of waste collection and refuse collection fee becomes the major barrier hence need thorough considerations

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