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Development of an Adaptive Environmental Management System for Lejweleputswa District: A Participatory Approach through Fuzzy Cognitive Maps

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dc.contributor.advisor Muthoni Masinde
dc.contributor.author Mbele, Mpho Josephine
dc.contributor.other Central University of Technology, Free State. School of Information Technology,
dc.date.accessioned 2019-03-07T10:13:16Z
dc.date.available 2019-03-07T10:13:16Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11462/1884
dc.description Published Thesis en_US
dc.description.abstract Environmental pollution caused by mines within the district of Lejweleputswa in Free State is a major contributor to health issues and the inability to grow crops within the mining communities. Mining industries continue to develop environmental management systems/plans to mitigate the impact their operations has on the society. Even with these plans, there are still issues of environmental pollution affecting the society. Though there are Information Communication and Technology (ICT) based pollution monitoring solutions, their use is dismal due to lack of appreciation or understanding of how they disseminate information. Furthermore, non-adopting community members are being regarded as inherently conservative or irrational, but these community members argue that the recommendations and technologies brought to them are not always appropriate to their circumstances. There was concern that local people’s knowledge of their environment, farming systems, and their social as well as economic situation had been ignored and underestimated when ICTs solutions are being implemented (Warburton & Martin, 1999). Another challenge is that there is no station to monitor pollution for small communities such as Nyakallong in the district. This result in mining communities depending on their own local knowledge to observe and monitor mining related environmental pollution. However, this local knowledge has never been tested scientifically or analysed to recognize its usability or effectiveness. Mining companies tend to ignore this knowledge from the communities as it is treated like common information with no much scientific value. As a step towards verifying or validating this local knowledge, fuzzy cognitive maps were used to model, analyse and represent this linguistic local knowledge. Although this local knowledge assists in mitigating environmental pollution, incorporating it with scientific knowledge will improve its relevance, trustworthiness and acceptability by majority of community members and policy-makers. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can accelerate this integration; this is the focus of this research. The increased usages of Information Technology being witnessed today makes it the most important factor for the world to depend on for solutions to many of today’s and tomorrow’s problems. These solutions make use of various forms for dissemination purposes, one of the most versatile dissemination device is a mobile phone since majority of the world’s population do own a mobile phone. In this way information is easily accessible by almost everyone that needs it. A novel environmental management solution was designed to work within the mining communities of Lejweleputswa. The research started off by designing a unique integration framework that creates the much-needed link between local knowledge and scientific knowledge. The framework was then converted into an adaptable environmental pollution management system prototype made up of three components; (1) gathering environmental pollution knowledge; (2) environmental monitoring and; (3) environmental dissemination and communication. To achieve sustainability, relevance and acceptability, local knowledge was integrated in each of the three components while mobile phones were used as both input and output devices for the system. In order to facilitate collection and conservation of local knowledge on environmental monitoring, an elaborate android-based mobile application was developed. Wireless sensor-based gas sensor boards were acquired, and deployed as a compliment to conventional monitoring stations, they were used to gather scientific knowledge. To allow for public access to the system’s data, a web portal and an SMS-based component were also implemented. In order to collect local knowledge from community, a case study of Nyakallong community in Lejweleputswa was carried out. On completion of the system prototype, it was evaluated by participants from the community; 90% of respondents gave a score of ‘excellent ‘. en_US
dc.format.extent 4 451 487 bytes, 1 file
dc.format.mimetype Application/PDF
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology, Free State en_US
dc.title Development of an Adaptive Environmental Management System for Lejweleputswa District: A Participatory Approach through Fuzzy Cognitive Maps en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.holder Central University of Technology, Free State

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