Investigating the influence of water scarcity on the well being of some primary school learners in the Lubombo region of Swaziland.
Dlamini, Nollen Mefika.
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This research was aimed at understanding some learners’ experiences of water scarcity and well-being in Thulwane primary school in the Lubombo region of Swaziland. A case study was carried out with the focus being on the learner’s experiences of water scarcity at primary school, how the scarcity of water influences the learner’s well-being and how these primary school learners are able to cope in times of water scarcity. The study employed a qualitative research design which used a grounded theory approach in order to understand learners’ experiences of water scarcity and the well-being of learners in a school context where there is limited water supply. The study was guided by the following main research question; what is the influence of water scarcity on the well-being of learners in Thulwane primary school in the Lubombo region of Swaziland? The following sub-questions guided the researcher: a) what are primary school learners’ experiences of water scarcity in Lubombo Region. b) How is water scarcity influencing primary school learners ‘well-being? c) How are the primary school learners coping with water scarcity? A questionnaire was administered to Grades 5 to 7, with biographic information that was used to sample 24 learners who participated in the interviews. A semi-structured interview was carried out with the 24 learners with different abilities. Data was collected from the 24 learners, was coded and analysed using content analysis, and then interpreted using the grounded theory. The findings of the study indicated that most learners’ experienced great scarcity of water in their schooling days and that created a number of challenges. The study also found that learners experienced challenges in terms of their health and hygiene and this affected the levels of medication while at school and the washing of their hands. The study revealed that water scarcity influences the well-being of learners, like their academic performance. The learners in the current study developed coping strategies such as bringing water from home. The implication of this study was that water scarcity interfered with the overall curriculum and extra-curricular activities.