An assessment of environmental sanitation in an urban community in Southern Nigeria
Inadequate environmental sanitation has been recognized as a public health hazard worldwide. In some Nigerian cities, living with waste as part of the natural environment has become a way of life. This study examined the sanitary condition of an urban community in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. It used a cross sectional survey design for a population of 123,033 inhabitants of four villages in North Eastern Akwa Ibom. Multi-stage sampling was used in selecting 237 inhabitants in this community and structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Data was analyzed using frequencies, percentages, Chisquare test and multiple logistic regressions. Results showed that tap water was the major source of water, usually disinfected by boiling. Results of multiple logistic regression showed a significant association between gender and their participation in environmental sanitation (p<0.05) with males showing 9 times more odds of participation than females (OR =9.84, C.I =1.225-79.018). Unwholesome practices like open refuse dumping and building of pit latrines close to the house were prevalent in this community. Therefore, to enhance the sanitary condition in this community, government should establish and enforce a more robust environmental sanitation approach and health education.
Key words: Environmental sanitation, sanitary condition, diarrhoea, disease.