Assessing community perception of post-mine brownfield’s effects on the physical environment in Kisumu, Kenya
K’oyoo Edwin Oluoch, Onyango Leah, Midheme Emmanuel
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Urban development has overtime spread into areas where mining/quarrying activities were once carried out. This has resulted into presence of degraded landscapes referred to as post-mine brownfields within the urban landscape. Brownfields constitute a poor fit into the urban realm and are considered as problem spaces. They are a safety concern due to crime and hazards associated with abandoned sites. They also take up vital urban land that could be used more productively, besides not being aesthetically appealing to residents of the neighborhoods. While there is need to rehabilitate Kisumu’s brownfields into more productive urban land uses, public perception of the effects of these sites on the living environment is not clearly understood. In accordance, this study postulates that rehabilitation of post-mine brownfields lies in understanding the effects they pose within the neighborhoods they are found in and which should not be neglected. The purpose of this paper was to assess the public perception of the effects of post-mine brownfields on the physical environment in Kisumu. Cross sectional research design was used, with the unit of analysis being the brownfields and households living within a 500-metre radius of each brownfield site. A total of 96 willing participants selected randomly were involved in the survey within four brownfield neighborhoods that were purposively selected in the study due to long history on quarrying thus resulting into post-mine brownfields. The survey used questionnaires and the findings were analyzed using percentages and presented in tables. The study found out that the post-mine brownfields were characterized by waterlogging and illegal dumping of wastes, which presented health hazards within the residential neighborhoods they were sited in. Since the sites are currently used as illegal dumpsites, the study recommends that alternative waste management practices would need to be planned for. The findings should inform both policy and practice on the rehabilitation of post-mine brownfields in Kisumu City.