Environmental risks and quality of life of a coastal community (Luanda, Angola)

Nogueira, P.F., Faria, S., Mosley, B.A. & Domingues, R.B.

Luanda Bay and Mussulo Lagoon, situated in Luanda (Angola), are two coastal ecosystemshighly sensitive to environmental issues, such as climate change, water pollution,eutrophication, and harmful algal blooms. These environmental problems can severelyaffect the quality of life of coastal populations. In this study, we aim to evaluate severalpsychological variables, such as environmental risk perception and awareness, sense of place,environmental attitudes, and the overall quality of life of the coastal community in theseareas, using a comprehensive questionnaire applied to residents and other ecosystem users.Results indicate that most respondents considered that they possess high knowledge aboutclimate change, water pollution, and ingestion of contaminated seafood. However, regardingeutrophication and harmful algal blooms, most participants reported a low/moderateknowledge. Life experience and the media were reported as the most relevant sources ofinformation on environmental problems. Respondents indicated a moderate risk perceptiontowards environmental risks, and a moderate/high emotional attachment to the place.Residents’ perceived quality of life was moderate/good in terms of physical and psychologicalhealth, and social relationships, but the environmental component was perceived as weak.Results suggest that improvements in the natural environment are needed to increase thequality of life in these ecosystems.

9(3): 205-224

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