The impact of public attitudes and behaviour on the effective valorisation of household organic waste into agricultural compost: case study Limbe and Douala - Cameroon

  • Lawrence O Mbeng

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Building on the development of a research agenda, the research used best practices in the UK and other developed countries to design the aims and objectives from which the methods were developed. Based on the research agenda, trends in household behaviour in Cameroon were examined in order to identify, and generate baseline information to provide a sound evidence base essential for robust policy development in education, capacity building in composting involving the third sector organizations in Cameroon. To determine attitudes, Q methodology was used. Factor analysis produced nine and eight factors representing distinct behavioural patterns of public concerns, opinions and beliefs in household waste management in Douala and Limbe. Interpreting these factors revealed 12 attitudes to household waste management practices and this will be used to design strategies. A waste composition analysis found the organic fraction >60% with the lowest per capita waste generation (0.86 kg) in the high income residential area (HIRA) and the highest (1.38 kg) in the low income residential area (LIRA) of Douala in the wet season. In the dry season, the medium income residential area (MIRA) had the highest (1.11 kg) with the lowest (0.71 kg) in the HIRA. For both seasons in Limbe, HIRA had the highest while the LIRA had the lowest. Pearson correlation and regression was used to show the relationship between waste generation and household size. The research determined barriers and success factors for composting as part of a strategy. Barriers included household hazardous waste (HHW) and odour at composting sites because more than 50% of the composted waste was food waste with high humidity especially in the wet season. This affected public acceptance to composting. A success factor is that the market for compost is increasing and is expected to increase to 30% by 2013. Added to this, more than 50% of the participating households showed positive intentions and willingness to composting. Hence, composting is expected to be a major economic activity for Cameroonians and become a national practice
Date of Award2009
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorGeoff E Attenburrow (Supervisor)

Cite this