The general purpose of this study was to organize psycho-social information pertaining to some issues. These include: Local peoples’ awareness and perception of risk of ecological problems associated with Lake Ziway/Dembel; the issues of community participation and mobilization in resource conservation, preservation and sustainable use; psycho-social consequences of the adverse climatic happenings in the lake area; and impacts of eco-systemic changes of the Lake on local livelihoods. Besides, this study was undertaken so as to suggest further research and facilitate academic discussion, thereby contributing for national environmental policy consideration and mechanisms of intervention. The main tools of primary data collection used in this study include; in-depth interviews, Focus Group Discussions, direct observations and questionnaire. Questionnaire items were administered to members of the local community with varying socio-demographic composition, teachers and high school students and local governmental officials. The results indicated that people as well as other stakeholders in the Lake area are familiar with eco-systemic changes involving the Lake. This indicates that there is an already existing perception of the risk on behalf the community in Lake Ziway area. It was possible to infer that people who have based their livelihood on the Lake are in a vulnerable context. The study indicates that there are some psycho-social impacts of the environmental troubles associated with Ziway/Dembel lake.
Key words: Lake Ziway/Dembel, Risk perception, local community, sustainable utilization, conservation, psycho-social impacts, community mobilization, participation.