Supply of Clean Drinking Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Promotion Interventions n urban slums
WATER AND SANITATION
Slum dwellings within urban slums are characterized by several problems that vary in magnitude from one place to another. Among these are:
- Insufficient drinking water
- Poor solid waste management
- Improper excreta
- Improper waste-water management
- Unequipped drainage especially of storm water
- Poor housing conditions
- Unsafe food
- Poor vector and vermin control
- Inadequate personal and general hygiene
In specific reference to urban slums, the situation is aggravated by the fact that the City’s Metropolitan and Municipal authorities lack the resources to satisfactorily provide required services and infrastructure. As a result of the above circumstances, slums have become breeding grounds for disease making the search for solutions to improve health in such communities an utmost urgency, thereby making the search for solutions to improve health in such communities an utmost urgency. Moreover, a majority of the occupants in the mentioned locality lack sufficient knowledge of the link between water, sanitation, hygiene, and health, as evidenced by frequent outbreaks of cholera and typhoid, in addition to a relatively high incidence of diarrheal diseases particularly in children under 5 years of age. Other health conditions common in slums which affect mostly children include:
Available evidence shows that poor water, sanitation, and hygiene plays an important role in the transmission of diarrheal diseases. Moreover, cholera is
almost always transmitted by consumption of contaminated drinking water and food. Among the major factors in urban slums leading to this contamination are:
- Low latrine and water coverage
- Poor domestic and personal hygiene practices.
Due to poor planning, the location of pit latrines and other sanitary facilities in this locality is such that they end up contaminating drinking water sources.
Most latrine facilities used in urban slums are either unimproved, privately owned, or are shared among several households. Insecure and unorganized land tenure system, also contributes to low latrine coverage while the communal sharing of latrine facilities leads to their poor utilization and maintenance. Evidence from systematic reviews and meta-analyses of WASH interventions in poor communities with unsafe water and inadequate sanitation
has shown that interventions can reduce the risk of diarrheal diseases and water related diseases including:
- Hookworm infection
i) To seek solutions within the affected communities in order to improve the prevailing poor environment in slums as a deliberate effort to improve community health.
ii) To conduct community-based proactive and sustainable interventions, targeting two priority problem areas of access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities.