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WASH conditions in a small town in Uganda: how safe are on-site facilities?

Nayebare, JG; Owor, MM; Kulabako, R; Campos, LC; Fottrell, E; Taylor, RG; (2020) WASH conditions in a small town in Uganda: how safe are on-site facilities? Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development , 10 (1) pp. 96-110. 10.2166/washdev.2019.070. Green open access

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Abstract

Inadequate hygiene coupled with the conjunctive use of the shallow subsurface as both a source of water and repository of faecal matter pose substantial risks to human health in low-income countries undergoing rapid urbanisation. To evaluate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) conditions in a small, rapidly growing town in central Uganda (Lukaya) served primarily by on-site water supply and sanitation facilities, water-point mapping, focus group discussions, sanitary-risk inspections and 386 household surveys were conducted. Household surveys indicate high awareness (82%) of domestic hygiene (e.g. handwashing, boiling water) but limited evidence of practice. WHO Sanitary Risk Surveys and Rapid Participatory Sanitation System Risk Assessments reveal further that community hygiene around water points and sanitation facilities including their maintenance is commonly inadequate. Spot sampling of groundwater quality shows widespread faecal contamination indicated by enumerated thermo-tolerant coliforms (TTCs) (Escherichia coli) ranging from 0 to 104 cfc/100 mL and nitrate concentrations that occasionally exceed 250 mg/L. As defined by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring programme, there are no safely managed water sources in Lukaya; ∼55% of improved water sources comprising primarily shallow hand-dug wells show gross faecal contamination by E. coli; and 51% of on-site sanitation facilities are unimproved. Despite the critical importance of on-site water supply and sanitation facilities in low-income countries to the realisation of UN Sustainable Goal 6 (access to safe water and sanitation for all by 2030), the analysis highlights the fragility and vulnerability of these systems where current monitoring and maintenance of communal facilities are commonly inadequate.

Type: Article
Title: WASH conditions in a small town in Uganda: how safe are on-site facilities?
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.2166/washdev.2019.070
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.2166/washdev.2019.070
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. OA copyright CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0).
Keywords: hygiene, on-site, sanitation, urban, water supply
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10096803
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