Participation of Men and Women in the Management of Domestic Solid Waste in Kiandutu Informal Settlement, Kiambu County, Kenya
Mwangi, Willy W.
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The study sought to investigate levels of men’s and women’s involvement in the management of domestic solid waste in Kiandutu Informal Settlement in Kiambu County, Kenya. Specifically, the study aimed to determine the knowledge men and women had, examine the waste management practices by men and women, establish what challenges both men and women encountered and propose strategies that would enhance community involvement among men and women in the management of domestic solid waste. The study was guided by two theories namely the Identity Theory and Social Context Theory. While the former assumes the rigidity of gender, the latter assumes it’s flexibility. The study employed exploratory research design whose choice allowed an in-depth view of the generation of both qualitative and quantitative data. Random sampling of the villages and purposive sampling of the respondents were used to identify the study sample. A sample size of 264 households representing 10% of the total number of households in the randomly sampled villages was selected for the study with each village being apportioned its quota. The unit of analysis was the household, with the household heads, male and female being the respondents. Key informants comprised community health workers, village elders and local administration. Guided questionnaires, interview guides and observation checklists were used to generate data. Qualitative data was thematically coded and analysed using SPSS V24. Hypothesis was tested at p ≤ 0.05. The study found out that both men and women had a variation of knowledge on domestic solid waste management exhibited gendered domestic solid waste management and practices mostly influenced by as socio-cultural processes alongside demographic characteristics. Challenges which recurred among men and women included: low knowledge base, misconceptions in domestic solid waste management, use of unorthodox waste management methods as well as congestion of the households. The study concluded that early stereotyped socialization negatively contributes to men’s participation in the management of domestic solid waste. The study also perceived that low levels of domestic solid waste management knowledge among men and women were linked to poor management of the solid waste. The study recommends a strategic gender awareness raising for effective management of domestic solid waste. The Kiambu County government should develop relevant gender sensitive policies with the aim of raising awareness in the management of domestic solid waste and the environment. Building new and strengthening the existing social structures can strategically be used for the mobilize of men and women. The Kenya National Environment Management Authority should collaborate with the Kiambu County Government and other relevant stakeholders to prepare training packages for raising awareness on suitable domestic solid waste management in the informal settlements.