The Effectiveness And Relevance Of Environmental Impact Assessment In The Sustainability Of The Built Environment In Nigeria: Perceptions Of Three Communities
Keywords:Environmental Impact Assessment, Evaluation, Mitigation, Perception
There is paucity of data on the awareness of Environmental Impact Assessment across communities where environmental assessments have been completed for different ranges of projects. This has raised concerns for stakeholders and policy makers for decision making as part of improving the sustainability initiatives in the built environment. The research examined the perception of the public in Anambra State after post environmental impact assessment tasks in communities have been completed. This was to ascertain the extent of public awareness on the implications of EIA in the built environment. The field survey employed techniques such as survey method, focused group discussion, interview and observation to elicit information from the 450 respondents of the three communities: Uruezi Egbema Village Ozubulu, Aboh Amawa Ogbunike and Umuofor Ubahu Village, Okija, where selected Environmental Impact Assessment projects are located. Purposive sampling technique was employed. The hypothesis that guided the study was: Reaction and perception of residents to EIA as an instrument of environmental sustainability and governance do not vary across communities studied. The results supported the hypothesis as the calculated X2 was greater than the critical values at both 0.05 and 0.01 alpha levels. Awareness level and mitigation measures were shown to be poor. This raised serious concern on the implications of the level of awareness in environmental management issues in the study localities. It is therefore recommended that efforts must be made to improve EIA awareness through capacity building and enforcement of mitigation measures with available grants and incentives in environmental management. It is hoped that the findings will be useful to EIA practitioners and to ministries of Environment across the states of the Federation in Nigeria and thus provide a general guideline for other researchers in EIA quality evaluations.
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