The social dynamics around shared sanitation in an informal settlement of Lusaka, Zambia. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, March 2019.
This study explored the social dynamics affecting collective management of shared sanitation in the Bauleni compound of Lusaka, Zambia. In-depth interviews were conducted with landlords (n = 33) and tenants (n = 33). Elinor Ostrom’s eight design principles for the management of common-pool resources was used as a framework to analyse the data.
Social capital within plots was also assessed. Pit latrines were predominantly shared by landlords and tenants on residential plots. However, unwelcome non-plot members also used the latrines due to a lack of physical boundaries. Not all plot members fulfilled their cleaning responsibilities equally, thereby compromising the intended benefits for those conforming. Landlords typically decided on latrine improvements independent of tenants.
Latrines were not systematically monitored or maintained, but punishment for non-conformers was proportionate to the level of infraction. There was no system in place for conflict resolution, nor local organizations to regulate the management of sanitation. Lastly, there were few enterprises associated with peri-urban sanitation.
Social capital was moderately high, and tenants were willing to invest money into improving sanitation. The social dynamics illuminated here provide an important basis for the development of a behavioural intervention targeted towards improving urban sanitation.
San-Dem: Formative Research in Zambia: Briefing Note. SHARE, November 2017.
Conclusions: Shared sanitation in Bauleni compound and possibly other similar settings present challenges for coordinating, cleaning and ensuring proper use of toilets by plot members.
Improvements are dependent on landlords whose primary motives for making these improvements are financial, social, and familial.
Properly designed demand-side interventions may be able to increase peri-urban sanitation quality in a cost-effective way.
Recommendations for the intervention
- Target landlords as the primary target audience because they are responsible and financially capable of making toilet improvements.
- Aim towards strengthening social cohesion on plots, as toilets are maintained as a shared resource
- Primarily use the status and nurture motives, which scored highest, while also emphasizing justice and disgust to promote social cohesion and cleanliness
- Encourage the use of different financial investment schemes by landlords to encourage savings for deliberate, planned toilet improvements
Disease Priorities in Zambia. Am Jnl Trop Med Hyg, July 2016.
Author: Duncan Mara. School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
An excerpt: Neonatal disorders are very important. Deaths due to neonatal sepsis and other neonatal infections have been rising steadily from 2,121 in 2000 to 2,704 in 2013. This may reflect poor WASH, the difficulty of accessing even basic-level health-care facilities in rural areas, and/or rural mothers not recognizing early symptoms of these diseases. Poor WASH should be addressed, as it is known to adversely affect maternal, infant, and child mortality. There also needs to be improved rural health care and targeted health/hygiene education for mothers and mothers-to-be.
Diarrheal diseases caused significantly fewer deaths in 2013 than in 2000. This parallels the decrease in unsafe water, unsafe sanitation, and unsafe hand hygiene, which must be sustained. The most dramatic decrease, nearly 60%, was seen in the number of human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and tuberculosis deaths during 2010–2013. This truly excellent performance needs, of course, to continue.
As highlighted in this letter, an initial broad-brush approach using GBD Compare (or similar tools) is likely to produce good guidance on health priorities, especially in rural areas and periurban slums. Targeted detail can then follow.
Why Latrines Are Not Used: Communities’ Perceptions and Practices Regarding Latrines in a Taenia solium Endemic Rural Area in Eastern Zambia. PLoS Neg Trop Dis, Mar 2015.
Authors: Séverine Thys , Kabemba E. Mwape, et al.
Livestock owners from small scale farms are most vulnerable for Neglected Zoonotic Diseases (NZD) in developing countries and their risk behavior leads to more intense and complex transmission patterns. Studies in Africa have shown that the underuse of sanitary facilities and the widespread occurrence of free-roaming pigs are the major risk factors for porcine cysticercosis. However the socio-cultural determinants regarding its control remain unclear. We hypothesize that via a bottom-up culture-sensitive approach, innovative control strategies can be developed that are more adapted to the local reality and more sustainable than current interventions.
By assessing the communities’ perceptions, practices and knowledge regarding latrines in a T. solium endemic rural area in Eastern Zambia, we found that more than health, seeking privacy underlies motivation to use latrines or not. The identified taboos related to sanitation practices are in fact explained by the matri- or patrilineal descent and because men are responsible for building latrines, sanitation programs should focus more often on men’s knowledge and beliefs. In order to contribute to breaking the vicious cycle between poverty and poor health among livestock owners in developing countries, disease control strategies should always consider the socio-cultural context.
Despite most residents of African and Asian cities depending on non-sewered sanitation, only a handful of sanitation authorities have addressed the management of faecal sludge from these systems. This Practice Note describes the launch of a faecal sludge management (FSM) service in the peri-urban area of Kanyama, in Zambia.
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