"A district council can be defined as a local authority which is responsible for the administration of a particular district."
The Pamplemousses/ Riviere Du Rempart District Council is one the nine most populated local authority in the north of Mauritius with a population of 245, 027 inhabitants for the year 2009 ( according to the survey carried out by Central Statistic Office in 2009).
2.11.1 Background of the Pamplemousses/ Riviere Du Rempart District Council
In 1952, under the ordinance 76 of 1951, the Pamplemousses/ Riviere Du Rempart District Council was created. The council is constituted of 36 members each coming from the 39 village councils of the area. In July, new chairman is elected in line with the provisions of Local Government Act 1989 and Local Government Act 2003. In relation to section 46 of the Local Government Act, the District Council elects Committees with delegated powers for a better management of regulations of activities.
22.214.171.124 Vision Statement of the PRDC:
To provide efficient and effective services to meet customer expectations for the continuous improvement of quality of life in the north.
126.96.36.199 Mission Statement of the PRDC:
To provide the necessary conditions and environment to inspire employees and all stakeholders of the council to pursue quality.
To continuously improve service delivery.
188.8.131.52 Core Values
184.108.40.206 Customer Care Service
The Customer Care Service operates as an important body in the District Council as it caters to fulfil the needs of each and every individual as far as possible. It’s objectives are:
To be accountable for their actions.
To be open and honest.
To give fair treatment to everyone, irrespective of caste, creed, colour and sex and also to respect each person’s religious and cultural convictions.
To strive for continuous improvement in their services and processes.
To provide services to everyone and ensure that premises and information are as accessible as possible.
2.11.2 Composition of the activities and services of the Council’s different departments
This section will elaborate on the various departments that exist in the district council, thus each department being managed by a head of department to make sure that high quality service is being provided to customer.
220.127.116.11 The Chief Executive Department.
The secretary is appointed as the Chief Executive and Head of Administration of the council and is therefore responsible to abide by the duties laid down in the Local Government Act and other legislations concerning the councils’ activities.
The following sections operate under the Chief Executive Department:
Internal Audit Section
18.104.22.168 The Finance Department
It comprises of 12 members who manage the Treasury Department and a meeting is held every month. The main duties of the Finance Department are:
To manage assets and liabilities of the council
To deal with all financial transactions in a clear, honest and transparent manner.
To manage stores
To devise ways and means of raising revenues with impartiality.
The PRDC library opened its door in the year 1995 and is the first rural authority to offer library services to its inhabitants. In order to render task of the library users easy, the council has appointed a library management system. Lending and reference services are the main services that the library offers to the public.
Philosophy, Religion, Social Sciences, Languages, Technology, Literature, History are the subject areas covered at the Pamplemousses/Riviere Du Rempart District Council. Moreover, the library has a stock of some 20, 000 volumes.
Aims and Objectives:
Right information at the right time is the main motto to which every library subscribes.
The council is making the provision to provide for internet services to the library users.
Lending of library materials to the public.
Promotion of the local authors by acquiring copies of their books.
Promotion and encouragement to the public to use the library materials.
22.214.171.124 The Planning Department
The Planning Department is controlled by the Planning Officer who is responsible for the Planning functions, such as dealing with and approving all the applications for Permits and Land Development in the District. The Department has the responsibility to ensure:
Efficient and Effective issue of permits.
Proper dissemination of advice.
Swift enforcement action on illegal development.
Morever, the services offered by the Planning Department are:
Processing and Issue of Building Permit
Processing and Issue of Development Permit
126.96.36.199 The Work Department
The Work Department takes into consideration all matters pertaining to the maintenance of assets. The main aim of the Work Department is to provide better services. This includes maintenance of the following:
It is responsible for the patching and resurfacing work, more precisely for the construction and repairs of all roads falling under jurisdiction of the Councils as per the Road Act.
It includes maintenance of existing village halls, traffic centres, market fairs, pre-primary schools, football playgrounds, public toilets, drains, bus shelters, crematorium, green spaces and District Council buildings.
Street Lighting Network
It is actually responsible for the fixing and repairs of street lanterns in the 36 villages.
188.8.131.52 The Health Department
The Health Department plays a vital role in a District Council as it provides a variety of functions and takes into account the promotion of public health. The responsibilities handled by the Health Department are as follows:
The issue of trade licences for commercial, industrial and other related activities.
The maintenance of cemeteries and crematoriums.
The provision of scavenging services.
The cleaning of drains and canals.
The cleaning of roads and public places.
The maintenance of markets and fairs.
The maintenance of traffic centers and public toilets.
Attending complaints from public in relation to the above mentioned areas.
Taking remedial measures to meet public satisfaction.
184.108.40.206 The Welfare Department
The Welfare Department is occupied by the Senior Welfare Officer and provides the below mentioned services:
Organisation of cultural activities, recreational activities, sports and leisure.
Running of handicrafts and sewing classes.
Running of Pre-primary schools.
Lawn mowing of football grounds, lawn of village halls, green spaces and public gardens.
Loan of store facilities for residents.
CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY
Research has been defined as "the systematic design, collection, analysis and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific problem or situation facing the company" by Kotler (1994). Crouch and Houdsen (1996) have suggested that "finding of a research is largely influenced by the research methodology. This chapter therefore depicts the research design method, involves the collection of data and hence analysis of the data collected in order to acquire relevant result to meet the aim and objectives of this study.
3.1 Means of data collection
It can be noted that three types of data collection techniques were adopted, namely;
The fact that there is no best method, these types of data helped to arrive at a more valid and consistent data. These means of data collection can be classified into:
An informal interview was arranged with the Health and Safety Officer and the supervisor of the District Council to inspect and observe all the departments which was indeed very helpful for my study. The aim of the informal interview was therefore to cover management commitment, policies and procedures as well as corroborate data collected through the questionnaire.
As the old saying goes "seeing is believing", observational study was done while site visits were effected to observe the employees normal way of working and to determine their unsafe practices in wok. This study has helped a lot to understand the workers routine way of performing their duties and their own devised techniques to carry their work together with the unsafe practices of everyday. Therefore, direct observation indeed provided much more powerful evidences than those obtained from secondary sources.
The collection of primary data was done through a well administered questionnaire (Appendix I). The questionnaire consisted of a list of questions presented to the respondents, which in our case were the scavengers. When conducting research, it is always impossible to study the entire population that you are interested in due to time and cost constraints. Thus, only a calculated percentage of refuse collectors were chosen as our targeted population.
The questionnaire was designed and drafted into simple language, taking into consideration the level of education of the workers. The fact that most of the refuse collectors were of low literacy rate, oral questions were put to them and I had to fill their respective questionnaires as they would fail to do so.
The questionnaire consisted of four sections, of both open ended and close ended questions. The open ended questions were to determine cause of incidence and views etc. section A deals with respondent’s profile, section B deals with the risks and hazards, section C comprises of policies and procedures and finally section D was on monitoring, supervision and training.
Secondary data are data that were previously collected for another purpose and already exist somewhere. They can be obtained from internal and external sources.
Internal source: available information within the District Council, for example number of accidents, injuries and fatality reported.
External source: information from outside, for example books, magazines, journals, on line computer searches.
For this dissertation both primary and secondary data were used.
3.2 Target Population and Sample size
Sample was used as a means to gather all the data. The study was to aim the refuse collectors at the District Council which amounted to 200. Raosoft calculator was used to carry out an effective and sufficient sampling of the population in order not to miss any information and to be free from bias. A minimum sample size of 66 was adopted, with confidence level of 95 %, producing 10% as margin of errors.
3.3 Data Analysis and Interpretation
The data gathered through interview, observation and questionnaires were evaluated in order to realize the aim and objectives of the study. To accomplish this step, the analytical software SPSS 20.0 was used whereby the questionnaire had to be coded which involved assigning numbers to each of the answers so that they could be analysed by the SPSS.
The data gathered from the questionnaire were interpreted in tables and charts and were generated graphically as presented in the next chapter. Moreover, SPSS was used to provide frequencies, percentages and mean values which were useful for the analysis.
3.4 Limitation of the study
Most of the refuse collectors were of manual grade and possessed lower academic level or were illiterate therefore they were unable to fill in the questionnaire and as a result oral questions were put to them.
Respondents were not always willing to answer the questionnaire.
Sometimes the respondents were biased while trying to paint good image of their organisation and themselves; thus, giving irrelevant answers.
Unavailability of some workers (drivers, helpers and even refuse collectors)
The possibility that some essential issues may have been overlooked when setting questions.
3.5 Further study
To evaluate the efficiency of the proposed recommendations after implementation.
CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.0 Introduction to the chapter
This chapter aims at interpreting and analysing results from the findings of the study with the help of informal interview, observation and questionnaires both with the Health and Safety Officer and the refuse collectors of the PRDC.
4.1 Response to questionnaire
Though the minimum recommended size of my survey was 66, a total of 80 questionnaires were prepared to be filled. Out of the 80 questionnaires, 71 were returned for analysis despite multiple attempts and requests to carry out an oral interview with the refuse collectors. It is to be noted that nine of the questionnaires were rejected as respondents were not willing to reply, leading to part of the questionnaires unanswered. Finally, due to time constraints and deadline a sample size of only 71 refuse collectors were taken into consideration and analysed for the survey.
4.2 Cronbach Alpha Test
The cronbach alpha test is generated by the SPSS to check whether the data entered in the SPSS is reliable or not. Data is said to be reliable when the cronbach alpha value happens to be a minimum of 0.65. If the value is less than 0.65 then something might be missing, hence survey has to be carried out again. The cronbach alpha test for my survey was 0.706 as shown below in the table.