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Contents Page number

Acknowledgement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Purpose of Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Statement of Problem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Educational Value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Definition Of Technical Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Literature Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-10
Data collection Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Presentation of Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-15
Analysis of Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16-17
Discussion of findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18-20
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Limitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Appendices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25-28

The successful completion of this Caribbean Studies School Based Assessment
wouldn’t have been possible without the valiant efforts and support of a lot of people.
First and foremost, the researcher would like to thank God for giving him strength
and guidance. Secondly, the researcher would like to thank the residents of West
Watooka, Wismar, Linden for their cooperation in answering questionnaires as well
as in interviews. Thirdly, the researcher would like to recognize his family members
for their continual support financially. Finally, he would like to express his sincere
appreciation to his Caribbean Studies teacher, Mr. Sherwin Fraser, whose
contributions in stimulating suggestions helped the researcher to organize this
school-based assessment.

Purpose of Research
The researcher has been acquainted with the community of West Watooka for
more than a decade, and has noticed, that over the last few years, various forms of
pollution are prevalent in the community with the most concerning one being Land
Pollution. Land Pollution is prevalent, due to the continuous dumping of non-
biodegradable materials by residents of the community and neighboring
communities. The researcher saw the need to investigate this issue since the
relevant authorities were unconcerned. The aim of this study is to investigate the
causes of land pollution and how the residents of West Watooka are being affected.
In addition to that, methods that can be implemented to mitigate the issue of land
pollution will also be assessed.

Statement of problem
Land pollution is a major issue in West Watooka and early actions are to be taken
to prevent future occurrences. The researcher will assess the causes and effects of
land pollution in West Watooka as well as methods to be implemented to reduce
land pollution.

Educational value
First and most importantly, the research will benefit citizens of West Watooka who
will be more informed on effective methods for garbage disposal, thereby leading
to a reduction in pollution.

Second, the research will also be beneficial to teachers and students who will be
able to acquire increase knowledge and information.

Third, government agencies will be able to use this study as a blueprint for
effective land management and control of pollution.

Definition Technical Terms

Pollution – is the introduction of any contaminant into the natural environment

that may cause any unwanted adverse change to the environment.

Community – is a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific

locality, share government and often have some common cultural or historical

Recommendation – is a suggestion or proposal as to the best course of action,

especially one put forward by an authoritative body.

Contamination – means to make something impure or unsuitable by contact or

mixture with something unclean.

Pollutants – are any substance or condition that contaminates air, water, or soil.

Literature Review
Land Pollution is an issue that has many negative effects on many citizens in
Guyana, more so in the Caribbean as a whole. The reduction of plant cover as well
as the amount of infertile land are just two of the most alarming effects of land
pollution that are ignored by the relevant authorities. To accommodate an increase
in population and farming activities, including crop and meat farming, the land is
extended, and this leads to further depreciation the land.

Pollution is the destruction of the natural characteristics of the environment by

chemical, physical and biological agents (Rahil,2011). (Ramsaroop,2011) points
out that pollution of the land can occur either in the form of solid or liquid. Land
pollutants are any unwanted materials that have been disposed of on land, rather
than in watercourses or by burning so that they pollute the air. A major cause of
land pollution is the dumping of waste.

(Riley, 2005) confirms that the inappropriate management of solid wastes, from
land-based sources, in the Wider Caribbean Region is a problem of great concern.
This problem has arisen because of the increasing amount of solid wastes being
generated within the region, coupled with deficient collection systems and
inadequate disposal practices. Faulty disposal practices such as using rivers,
streams and mangrove swamps as dumpsites are evident in many communities of
this region.

The Latin American news (15th March 2016) stated that, Caribbean governments are
taking firm steps to ban the importation of non-biodegradable products into their
countries. Guyana is the latest member of the 15-country Caribbean Community
(CARICOM) grouping to announce a ban on closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam,
known popularly as the trade-marked brand Styrofoam. The country’s
Environmental Protection Agency is leading this cause, which will come into effect
on April 1, 2016. Styrofoam products are widely used in the food industry
throughout the Caribbean, but the Government of Guyana has said improper disposal
of the single use item remains a threat to human health and the environment. Experts
say Styrofoam is a product takes more than 500 years to break down and because of
it is lightweight; it eventually reaches gutters, drains and the ocean. Officials of
Guyana’s Finance Ministry also announced that the country is considering tax
incentives for importers who are interested in alternatives to Styrofoam.

Urban areas are more likely to have a higher percentage of land pollution being
present when compared to the amount of land pollution present in rural areas. This
is because in rural areas, there is a more standardized structure where the residents
learn to keep their surroundings clean, whereas in urban areas there is a higher
population and larger buildings which increases the amount of industrial and
domestic waste produced.

(Rahil, 2011) highlights that a great deal of environmental pollution results from
the rapid increase in population growth.

Pickering (2000) points out some other ways land have been polluted in urban
areas. These include leisure and transport, metalsheal, radioactive substance and
pathogenic microorganisms.

(Scheid, 2014) states that the source of land pollution comes from the human
elements such as littering and waste that is washed ashore from boats, oil rigs, and
sewage outlets. The surface of our Earth is also contaminated by poor agricultural
practices, mining, and industrial waste. Analyzing the Earth's pollution is currently
being explored by both non-profit organizations like Earth Platform and federal
agencies such as the Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention or
OCAPP. The OCAPP works directly with the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) in a joint effort to control and help clean up both human waste, industrial
waste and agricultural waste.

To reduce the present situation, in accordance to causes and consequences of land

pollution on the citizens of this country, the government had put disposal services
and clean up campaigns into action as well as a new public service department to
curb this issue.

Data Collection Sources
To obtain direct information, the researcher went to various data sources as well as
residents of West Watooka. These data sources can be grouped into two categories;
these being Primary Data Sources and Secondary Data Sources.

Primary Data Source

 Questionnaires - The researcher randomly distributed a total of 30

questionnaires, with questions pertaining to land pollution, its causes and
effects as well as ways to curb this issue, to the residents in the
community of West Watooka, Mackenzie, Linden. These were
distributed on the 3rd of January 2018 and collected on the 15th of the
same month. The use of questionnaires was very effective, since it gave
the researcher the opportunity to analyze the residents’ views on the issue
of Land pollution. The researcher found the use of questionnaires to be
beneficial since a considerable sum of data was collected in a short time.
 Eye witnesses – The researcher interviewed some residents of West
Watooka in relation to the different incidents of land pollution in the
town to gain valuable information. This was done to avoid some falsified
answers in the questionnaire as well as to get first hand information on
the causes and effects of Land Pollution in West Watooka.

Secondary Data Sources

 Textbooks – The use of textbooks proved to be a crucial beneficiary,

since they contained detailed facts as it pertained to the area of study.
Also, these text books contained valuable quoting sources for the
Literature Review of this assessment.

 Internet – The internet also contributed to the researcher’s

comprehension of the research topic since it contains a vast pool of
information as it relates to the causes, effects and solutions to the issue of
Land Pollution.

~ 10 ~
Presentation of Data
Responses Number of Responses Percentage
Disposal of Farming Machinery
7 23%
on Land
Urbanization 3 10%
Dumping of Unwanted Materials
15 50%
on Land
Use of Pesticides on Farming
5 17%

Figure 1.1: Table Showing What Residents Think Are the Causes of Land Pollution in West Watooka

Causes of Land Pollution in West Watooka




Disposal of oil from farming machinery on land

Dumping of non biodegradable materials on land
The use of pesticides on farming land

Figure 1.2: Pie Chart Showing the Causes of Land Pollution in West Watooka

~ 11 ~
Responses Number of Responses Percentage

Depopulation 6 20%

Takes Away from Scenic Beauty of

3 10%

Migration 12 40%

Disease Outbreaks 9 30%

Figure 2.1: Table Showing What Residents Think are The Effects of Land Pollution In West Watooka

Effects Of Land Pollution In West Watooka



10 30%



Depopulation Takes Away From Scenic Beauty of Community Migration Disease Outbreaks

Figure 2.2: Bar Graph Showing the Effects of Land Pollution

~ 12 ~
Responses Number of Responses Percentage

Recycling Waste 7 23%

Burning of Garbage 5 17%

Educating the Public of Effects of

6 20%
Land Pollutions

Disciplinary Action to Those Found

12 40%
Polluting the Land

Figure 3.1: Table Showing How Residents Think Land Pollution Can be Reduced West Watooka

Methods Used to Reduce Land Pollution

Recycling Waste

40% Burning Of Garbage

Educating the Public Of Harmful Effects

of Land Pollution
17% Disciplinary Action to Those Who are
Found Guilty Of Land Pollution


Figure 3.2: Donut Graph Showing Preferred Methods of Reducing Land Pollution

~ 13 ~
Responses Number of Responses Percentage

Burning Garbage 2 7%

Burying in Pits 7 23%

Dumping in Waterways 6 20%

Garbage Disposal Service 15 50%

Figure 4.1: Table Showing How Residents Dispose of Garbage in West Watooka

Methods of Garbage Disposal

16 50%


Garbage Disposal Service

8 23% Dumping in Waterways and Empty

6 Burying In Pits


Garbage Dumping in Burying In Pits Burning
Disposal Service Waterways and
Empty Lots

Figure 4.2: Histogram Showing Methods of Garbage Disposal

~ 14 ~
Analysis of Data
Figure 1.2

According to Figure 1.2, 50% of the individuals who were surveyed posited
that land pollution in West Watooka was mainly influenced by the dumping of
non-biodegradable materials on land. 23% of them said that the dumping of oil
from farming machinery is a cause of land pollution. Another 17% of the residents
stated that the use of pesticides on farmlands also influences land pollution. West
Watooka is a rural area known for farming, and to keep pests away from crop,
pesticides must be used so the overuse of these chemicals is unavoidable. Also
because of the land space being used for mostly farming and as a residential area,
there is not much land space to be used to dispose of oil from farming machinery
so as a result, the land becomes polluted. 10% of the surveyed individuals posited
that urbanization influences land pollution in West Watooka. As a growing
community, many new buildings will be erected, and more waste will be produced
from construction sites and because of an increase in population, more domestic
waste will be produced.

Figure 2.2

In Figure 2.2, 40% of the surveyed individuals stated that land pollution is a
cause of migration in West Watooka. 30% of them said that the spread of diseases
is an effect of land pollution in West Watooka. 10% of the surveyed individuals
stated that land pollution in West Watooka takes away from the natural beauty of
the community. These responses are effects of garbage piling up. When the
garbage piles up; a breeding place is created for disease spreading organisms:
scenic spots in the community look insanitary and because of this, residents decide
to leave the community resulting in migration and depopulation. 20% of
individuals stated that depopulation is an effect of land pollution.

Figure 3.2

From Figure 3.2, 40% of the surveyed individuals stated that disciplinary
actions taken to those individuals guilty of polluting the land, would be convenient
method of reducing land pollution. By doing this, persons will desist from littering
the community since they would not want to be arrested or fined for polluting the

~ 15 ~
land. 23% of residents said that recycling used materials will help to stop the issue
of land pollution in West Watooka. By recycling there will be no unwanted
materials dumped on the roadways and in yards since the materials will be put to
better use in elsewhere. 20% of the surveyed individuals stated that educating the
public about the harmful effects of land pollution will reduce it. Residents believe
that this method will work since residents would not want to be harmed because of
land pollution, so they will desist from polluting the land to save themselves and
their family. Another 17% of the surveyed individuals stated that the burning of
garbage will help to stop land pollution. The residents suggested that this method
will work because, rather than dumping on the land, the garbage can be burnt and
will take up less space as ashes.

Figure 4.2
Figure 4.2 is a Histogram showing preferred methods of garbage disposal
in Linden. In this community, garbage is either disposed by the garbage disposal
service, by dumping into the Demerara river, by burying or burning their garbage.
Majority of the respondents (50%), indicated that they use the town’s disposal
services because they can afford it and because they are aware of the community’s
present state due to the land pollution issue. 20% of the residents, stated that they
dumped their garbage recklessly in empty lots and running waterways. This is done
because they cannot afford the disposal services and don’t own land space for
burning or burying. 23% of the respondents stated that they bury their garbage
behind their house because to the fact that they cannot afford the disposal services
and they have a lot land space and it better their soil for agriculture produce due to
the decomposition of organic litter. While the remaining 7% of respondents stated
that they burn their garbage since they cannot afford the disposal services and it
increases soil fertility with the ash remains.

~ 16 ~
Discussion of Findings
This research shows that West Watooka is terribly affected by land pollution and
its effects on the community are becoming more of a problem recently. According
to Rahil, 2011, Pollution is the destruction of the natural characteristics of the
environment by chemical, physical and biological agents, and clearly in West
Watooka, the natural characteristics of this community is degraded by chemical
and physical agents. West Watooka was a scenic unpolluted community and as of
late, due to urbanization and other factors, an increase in the occurrence of land
pollution is observed.

In addition, this research indicated that the major cause of land pollution is by
dumping unwanted materials on land was well as the overuse of pesticides. (Riley,
2005) confirms that the inappropriate management of solid wastes, from land-
based sources, in the Wider Caribbean Region is a problem of great concern and in
West Watooka, most of the solid waste found in this community are as a result of
the inappropriate management of domestic waste.

There are many other causes of land pollution. In West Watooka, the residents said
that they dispose of their garbage whenever it gets too much due to the fact that the
disposal services are not timely and as a resident of this community, I can testify to
the unpunctual collection of garbage. Sometimes garbage is collected weeks after
the collection day, and residents are forced to dispose of their garbage in other
ways. According to a residential interview, the price for the collection of garbage is
too costly and as a result the garbage must be disposed of in other ways like
burning, burying or disposing of it in the nearby Demerara river. These methods
are used because they are cheaper, and it is advantageous due to the fact that
residents don’t have to rely on the untimely disposal service. Burning garbage is a
bit disadvantageous because when we burn garbage, it leads to air pollution due to
the high carbon emissions from waste. The remaining residents testified to using
pits to bury their garbage. These were the families that seemed to be more
comfortable both physically and financially with using the more conventional
method of garbage disposal. This is achieved by a large/deep hole being dug. This
is built to last a while and is treated and recovered with dirt to ensure the restriction
and destruction of pathogens.

~ 17 ~
Land pollution has affected the residents of West Watooka negatively. West
Watooka, being a rural farming area, is affected by pests and as a control for this
problem for farming, pesticides are used. However, the over use of pesticides on
crops and the soil can lead to poisoning. Lead is a natural chemical found
commonly in pesticides and when chemicals containing this chemical is overused
on soil and crops it can lead to lead poisoning. This affects the central nervous
system and causes mental retardation it can also be fatal if there is a high intake.

It was suggested that urban areas are more likely to have a higher rate of land
pollution than rural areas. This suggestion was based on the fact that rural areas
have a more standardized social structure, where the residents learn to keep their
environment clean and tidy while the urban areas have a high population and more
large buildings and larger factories. West Watooka is a rural area, and recently the
population of this community has been on the rise. Because of this an increase in
the occurrence of land pollution is seen in this community. This claim is supported
by (Rahil, 2011), who highlights that a great deal of environmental pollution
results from the rapid increase in population growth.

The community has been subjected to some floods due to the blockage of the main
water ways with Styrofoam materials as well as other solid wastes. A few residents
testified that their crops and livestock were fatally affected by these floods. They
explained that the high-water levels and the debris damaged their crops and their
livestock were infected with a fowl cholera, a waterborne disease, due the high
level of bacteria in the water. Not only does floods affect crops and plant medically
but they also affect humans since pathogens such as cholera and typhoid are also
present in the water. Thanks to the ban on the importation of Styrofoam in April of
2016, no floods were observed since.

Additionally, most of the residents in West Watooka indicated that they are
thinking about migrating from the area due to pollution occurring and so would
migrate to an area or another village which is seen as safer, healthier and in more
control where pollution is concerned. While some are thinking about migrating,
others are thinking about procedures that they can put in place to reduce the
increase of land pollution occurrences, whether it is by burning or burying, or by
dumping it wherever.

~ 18 ~
These findings have shown that land pollution is a major issue in West Watooka.
The findings of this research can prove to be useful in the hands of strategy makers
for the development of procedures that can mitigate the matter of land pollution in
this area. The results of this research can also be an opening for future researchers
who anticipate on pursuing related research based on the same topic. The
researcher gained vital knowledge on the broad topic of land pollution and the new
point of view on the issues affecting the residents of the area.

~ 19 ~
This research aimed to determine what kinds of land pollution activities were being
committed in West Watooka, how often these pollution activities are occurring,
who are mostly affected by these pollution activities, how it affects the residents
and what can be done to mitigate this problem in West Watooka, Wismar, Linden.
Based on the findings, it can be concluded that there is a high level of pollution
activities in this community. These activities have a negative effect on the residents
living there. Some of these effects include flooding and damage to crops and
livestock. These effects also contribute to the migration of residents to a place
which is seen as safer. Some of the factors that contribute to land pollution
activities are lack of an effective disposal service and an appropriate and safe dump
site, the in ability to pay for disposal services etc. Consumers can use shopping
bags made of biodegradable materials instead of plastics to reduce land pollution
Legislation with severe penalties must be passed to regulate the disposal of solid

~ 20 ~
In the process of completing this study there were some hinderances that had to be
overcome. The date for recollection of questionnaires had to be extended as most
of the residents were relatively slow in completing their questionnaires. Thus, the
study took longer than expected to be completed.
Initially, 40 questionnaires were handed out but only 30 were retrieved due to
carelessness on the residents’ part. Hence the study was restructured to
accommodate 30 instead of 40 respondents.
Adding to this, text books were not always available since the school library had
limited books to help. Also, it was impossible to use the internet in there.
Although there were few difficulties, this did not obstruct the researcher’s ability
from completing this study.

~ 21 ~
To help to reduce the issue of land pollution, the following suggestions can be
taken into consideration:

 The local government can implement stricter laws and penalties that restrict
the dumping of garbage in open land spaces so that the community will be
garbage free.
 To stop migration in the community the local government can use the mass
media as a means of creating awareness about the dangers of polluting the
land, which would cause residents to desist from the act of pollution.
 Public skip bins should be provided in the community in an effort to stop
land pollution and encourage proper garbage disposal practices.
 Some anti-pollution agencies should be made for every village in each
district of the country.
 Garbage should be collected at least twice weekly.
 Educate the residents of West Watooka about the effects of land pollution on
health. This includes educational programs on how to keep our environment
healthy and how we can recycle the things we use daily and reuse them.

~ 22 ~
Ramsaroop, N. (2011). Environmental Science for the Caribbean: Trinidad, La
Romaine: Caribbean Educational Publishers.

Rahil, V. (2011) New Caribbean Geography with map reading and CXC Questions
(New Edition): Trinidad: Caribbean Educational Publishers.

Rahil, V. (2005) New Caribbean Geography with map reading and CXC
Questions: Trinidad: Caribbean Educational Publishers.

~ 23 ~
Survey of land pollution

Dear Villager,

This survey is being carried out in the village of, West Watooka to gather
information on the causes of land pollution and how the residents in the
community are affected. This is a study that will aid the researcher in successfully
completing his internal assessment (IA) for Caribbean Studies.

Please answer all questions honestly, your cooperation will be very beneficial and
will help the community also. Your name does not have to be stated on the
questionnaire. Some questions can be answered by a check in a given box next to
the question. Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

~ 24 ~
1. Sex
Male Female
2. Age range
18-25 40-50
26-39 51-65
3. Occupation
Office workers Industrial workers
Field workers Self-employed

4. How long have you been residing in West Watooka?

1-3 years 3-6year
6-12years 12years and more

5. Do you believe that land pollution is a major issue in West Watooka?

Yes No
Why do you think so?
6. What mainly influences land pollution in West Watooka?


7. What are some diseases that are caused as a result of land pollution?


8. How is land pollution responsible for people moving away from West
9. Do you think that the act of land pollution is responsible for depopulation in
West Watooka from the year 2005-2014?
Yes No
Why do you think so?


~ 25 ~
10.Are there any signs of a decrease in land pollution in West Watooka?
Yes No

11.What measures do you think the residents of West Watooka can take to stop
land pollution?

12.What alternative measure of garbage disposal the residents of West Watooka

can use to stop land pollution?

13.Do you think that livestock farming is affected by land pollution?

Yes No
In what way is it affected?

14.What do you think should happen to persons who are caught polluting the land?
Imprisonment they should be fined

Put to do community cleanups given a warning

15.What measures do you think the local government can put in place to stop land

16.Do you think that by edifying the residents about the effects of land pollution
can help stop land pollution?
Yes No

17.Does land pollution affect housing development in West Watooka?

Yes No
Why do you think so?
~ 26 ~
18.What forms of land pollution exist in West Watooka?

19.Which groups of individuals mainly contribute to this type of land pollution?


~ 27 ~