The questionnaire is aimed at retrieving information on the residents’ perception of water pollution in the Brunei River particularly in the water village. Since the purpose of the research is to understand how the residents of the different areas in the water village (Kampong Ayer) perceive water pollution in the Brunei River, the target population is the residents of the water village as they are the ones who live on the Brunei River. The questionnaire is divided into three sections which are as follows: Section A – Residents’ Perception of Water Pollution in the Water Village, Section B – Method of Waste Disposal and Section C – Personal Particulars. Basically each of the different sections in the questionnaire form an integral part of the data needed to answer the aims set out for this project.
Moreover, from the questions posed in the questionnaire, I will be able to examine the relationship between variables such as age, occupation and highest education attainment and the perception of water pollution. Certain questions are also aimed at finding out ways to improve the condition in the Brunei River. Apart from that, some closed questions are accompanied by open-ended questions so that I can outline the possible causal factors that lead to water pollution in the Brunei River. The inclusion of open-ended questions may indeed provide more information but they can be quite complex to categorize analyse. And the fact that most of the questions are closed questions means that it will be easier to ask, answer and analyse the, however this also means that ‘they can suffer from the bias of constraining the responses into certain categories’ (Parfitt, 2005, p.91).
Since the case study for the project concentrates in the water village, the sampling strategy implemented here will be the stratified sampling. This strategy is preferred so that the households in the water village could be divided according to their location, that is, according to the different parts or villages in the whole water village itself. By using this method, consistent coverage is ensured (Lindsay, 1997, p.50). However, the problem with this is that certain villages may have fewer (or none at all) respondents than others and this leads us to the question of distribution of the respondents in the water village.
For the purpose of the project, I am interested to know the perception of the population from the age of 12 years old onwards. And only the local residents in the water village will receive the questionnaire. The basis of the respondents’ criteria is the fact that, the opinions of the local residents are needed as they are the one who interact with the environment and they have practically live there ever since they were born. There are no age categories yet in the questionnaire as it depends on the respondents that we can get. Age of the respondents will only be categorized once the minimum numbers of respondents have been identified.
The minimum sample size for this study is 380 people. This is due to the fact that an estimated 39000 people live in the water village (Curtis, M.D., 2010). The sample size is obtained by using the Sample Size Calculator (CRS, 2010) which allows the user to enter the required confidence level, confidence interval and the population so that it could automatically calculate the needed sample size. For the purpose of this research, the confidence level was set to 95% with a confidence level of 5 and a population size of 39000. The resulting sample size required for this study was found to be 380 people.
Identification of research participants is first done by making an appointment with each of the village leaders in different parts of the Brunei Water Village. This is because, it is a normal procedure in Brunei to first discuss and ask for approval to conduct the survey from the village leaders as they can inform the residents about the survey first before actually going into the field and conducting the survey. In addition, the village leaders will have a list of the people living in their area and thus this could be used to randomly select the participants.
However, since the participants must include people from different age groups such as students, working people as well as the elderly, the administering of the questionnaire will be done in different times of the day depending on who the identified participants are for that particular day. For instance, if the targeted group of the time is participants from the elderly age group, the survey will be conducted in the mornings. The best is to attend the early morning prayers in the village mosque to randomly pick a few participants. The best time to conduct the survey is on Fridays and Sundays where people do not have to go to work. And thus I can get access to identified participants who are working or are students.
It is essential to get the perception residents of different age groups so that I can compare their views. Since illiteracy among the elderly may be present in the water village, the questionnaire would be administered by doing it face to face. This is to ensure that I can have a good feedback particularly in terms of the open-ended questions in the questionnaire. As stated by Cloke et al.(2007, p.133), one of the advantages of administering questions face to face is that it will enable the researcher to interpret the answer provided by the respondents easily. This is most likely due to the fact that for this method, all the respondents have to do is just tell the answer and the researcher will record it himself/herself in the questionnaire. This is particularly important there are a few open-ended questions here which may be left answered if it were up to the respondents to fill it in on their own.
The answers collected for the open-ended questions are an essential part of the survey as it will have an influence in the identification process for the causal factors of water pollution in the Brunei River. Moreover, by administering the questionnaire face to face, I will be able to interact more with the research participants. The elderly people in the water village are normally more willing to help out in the survey if they were to be interviewed rather than filling in the questionnaire themselves. However, the reliability of the data obtained from this face to face method is entirely dependent on how well the interviewer (which is me) is able to interpret the responses given.
Cloke, P., Cook, I., Crang, P., Goodwin, M., Painter, J. and Philo, C. 2007. Practising Human Geography, London: Sage Publications.
CRS (Creative Research Systems). 2010. Sample Size Calculator. Accessed on March 1st, 2010 from http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm
Curtis, M.D. 2010. Brunei’s Water Village. Accessed on March 1st, 2010 from http://lab.colorsmagazine.com/content/bruneis-water-village
Lindsay, J.M. 1997. Techniques in Human Geography. London: Routledge.
Parfitt, J. 2005. Questionnaire design and sampling, in Flowerdew, R. and Martin, D. (eds). Methods in Human Geography, pp. 78-109. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.