Shared Cultural Belief on Waste and Present Domestic Waste Management Practices in Selected Communities in Rivers State, Nigeria
It is believed that cultural factors influence values linked to environmental stewardship. However, it has been recorded, particularly in the areas of biodiversity, resource conservation and climate change, that the cultural beliefs that once provided environmental stewardship, whether directly or indirectly, are fast disappearing. Thus, the environmental benefits from such cultural beliefs and practices are fast being lost. And efforts to integrate the cultural context into present environmental management methods are being promoted. But, rubbish which is said to be generated much faster than any other environmental pollutant has not received as much attention with regard to the cultural context. Thus, this study examined the cultural context of domestic waste management. The study found certain aspects of cultural beliefs, now barely shared by residents, to be key in the relatively tidy disposal practices of the past. It also established that there is a significant difference in present DWM practices between a community where cultural beliefs on DWM are shared amongst residents than in a community where cultural beliefs on DWM are not shared. Hence, concluded that the culturally shared belief on waste influenced a collective conscience or exerted control on residents towards uniformed tidy disposal practices. However, the present disappearance of the belief in the light of dangerous local ecological perception on waste reflects in the present indiscriminate DWM practice in the communities studied. Therefore, it was recommended that aspects of the cultural context of DWM should be integrated into present DWM method with a strong focus on reorientation of residents away from their present disturbing ecological perception on waste.
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