WASH Practices: situational and behavioral analyses to inform policy and practice

This project investigates the impact of access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and aims to develop for WASH uptake.

Access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is critical in the prevention of neglected tropical diseases including trachoma, soil-transmitted helminths, and schistosomiasis. These diseases affect more than 1.5 billion people, with a significant proportion being in sub-Sahara Africa. The diseases may cause blindness, disfigurement, permanent disability or death. Apart from poor provision of adequate WASH facilities, existing toilets and boreholes are underutilised to prevent/reduce contamination of environment and domestic water sources. There is paucity of studies on social, cultural and behavioral aspects that constrain toilet/borehole adoption/use in rural Africa. This project involves a knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviors comparative study in South Africa and Zimbabwe to identify a) factors leading people to prioritise/not prioritise latrine and borehole construction and b) causes and determinants of non-use of toilets and boreholes. These factors/causes will be related to the spatial distribution of latrines/boreholes to inform stakeholders on engagement strategies for WASH uptake/adoption.

Principal Investigator: Professor Francisca Mutapi, University of Edinburgh

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