Determinants of rural community participation in sanitation and hygiene promotion: A study of Apac district, Uganda
Kica, Richard Ocaya
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This study analysed the determinants of rural community participation in promotion of sanitation and hygiene in Minakulu and Aber sub-counties in rural Apac district. Community participation in sanitation and hygiene promotion was considered in the context of establishing and maintaining sanitary facilities such as latrine, bathing shelter, rubbish pits, drying rack and hand washing facility; and practicing positive hygiene through hand washing after using latrine/before cooking/eating food, using clean utensils, ensuring clean body and clothing, ensuring clean houses and surrounding. The overall objective of this study was to find out factors that determine participation of rural community in sanitation and hygiene promotion. The specific objectives of the study were to find out the level of community awareness and knowledge of sanitation and hygiene, analyse approaches used to enhance community participation, examine factors that motivates households to establish sanitary facilities and practice positive hygiene, and assess the role of stakeholders in promoting sanitation and hygiene. Using a cross-sectional design, the study adopted both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Households were the unit of analysis; other participants were local government staff, religious leaders, local leaders, NGOs and CBOs involved in sanitation and hygiene related programmes. The households were sampled through cluster sampling method while purposive sampling was used in selecting key informants. Data were collected through structured interview, structured observation, FGDs and in-dept interviews. The study found out that socio-demographic profiles affect participation mainly in hygiene promotion. Study findings revealed that household aggregate monthly income ranging between UGX 20,000 to 30,000 and above participate more than those in the lower income range. it was also found out that awareness/knowledge level promotes participation mainly in sanitation than in hygiene practices. Also promotion of sanitation and hygiene is mainly being done through information dissemination and enforcement of by-laws. The study further revealed that resource availability and awareness on particular facility/benefits of positive practices motivates households to participate; community participation in both sanitation and hygiene is relatively higher in Minakulu sub-county where there are more stakeholders involved than in Aber sub-county. In conclusion, community participation in sanitation and hygiene depends on socio-demographic profiles and economic capacity, the level of awareness and knowledge, approaches used to promote participation, household motivation to participate, and the extent to which the stakeholders involved play their roles. However, of these determinants, level of awareness and knowledge over rides followed by approaches used and level of involvement of the stakeholders in promotional activities. These factors are although not mutually exclusive. The study recommends that sensitisation of the community should put equal emphasis on both sanitation and hygiene and emphasise the consequence of non-participation by other community members on the health of participation members; appropriate approach to information dissemination be adopted, taking into consideration the dynamics of the households; other approaches, in addition to information dissemination be extended to all villages and also equally emphasise hygiene promotion; community should form health clubs where members meet and discuss sanitation, hygiene and other health issues; and stakeholders should collaborate to improve coordination of their efforts.