ASSESSMENT OF WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE PRACTICES OF HOUSEHOLDS IN BALANGA NORTH, GOMBE, NIGERIA

R. D. Abu, G. O. Abu, E. N Gajere, E. O. Iduseri, M. O. Oke, G. A. Songu, J. Sajo

Abstract



Increasing disease burden and diminishing environmental health conditions among the urban and rural poor in Sub Saharan African countries have been attributed to poor sanitation and hygiene practices. This study sought to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of households regarding water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Data was gathered through conducting a questionnaire survey and stratified random sampling technique was adopted to select 150 household units among the settlement clusters at a response rate of 100%. Results of the study revealed that 48.7% of the households had water sourced from wells and boreholes. The results indicated that 37.7% and 32% of households reported their water sources to be safe and potable respectively while 31.3% reported unsafe water use. The result also indicated recorded cases of unsafe water use to include cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid and dysentery with incidences of 12.7%, 40.7%, 39.3% and 7.3% respectively. The majority of the households represented by 56% were not satisfied with the water situation as a result of irregular supply. The result also revealed that all the households were aware of the benefits of handwashing and use of toilet facilities compare to the practice of open defecation and most of them practised hand washing before a meal. The results also indicated that households that use pit latrines and water closets to septic tanks for their sanitary needs are represented by 66.7% and 2% respectively while 31.3% lacked sanitation facilities and practised open defecation. Only 9.3% of households practised safe sanitation of refuse disposal at designated dumpsites, while 44%, 14.6% and 32% disposed of their refuse around the home, on the roadsides and indiscriminate dumping respectively. In conclusion, this study showed the absence or near absence of public water supply. It also revealed good sanitation knowledge of households, however, waste handling and hygiene practices of handwashing are poor and several households still engaged in the practice of open defecation. Recommendations made based on the findings are government at all levels should make provision for community tap points that will ensure safe water use to reduce the incidences of water-borne diseases, public education on waste handling as well as the critical times of handwashing is encouraged and the provision of public conveniences at strategic locations to discourage open defecation.

Keywords


Attitude, Household, Hygiene, Knowledge, Sanitation, Water

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