An assessment of water, sanitation and hygiene (wash) practices and quality of routinely collected data in Machakos County Kenya

  • D.M. Kavoo
  • S.H. Ali
  • A.B. Kihara
  • R.J. Kosgei
  • H Tweya
  • W Kizito
  • Omondi Ogutu
  • C.N. Tauta


Background: Poor water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) practices, predispose to childhood morbidity and mortality globally, and especially from diarrhoeal diseases. Machakos County in its community strategy utilises Community Health Workers (CHWs) to promote WASH practices and to collect household based data using a structured reporting tool. There is no published data on WASH in Machakos County.

Objectives: To assess (i) WASH practices, and (ii) completeness and accuracy of routinely collected data on household water, sanitation and hygiene with reported childhood diarrhoea cases of all community units in Machakos County, Kenya.

Design: Descriptive ecological study

Setting: Machakos County, Kenya

Subjects: Household units

Results: A total of 137,540 households were served by the CHWs between January and December 2014. The number of households was not updated as per ministry of health recommendation, after six months hence the denominator remained constant. There was a high uptake of households with treated drinking water (92%), availability of hand washing facilities in (89%) and availability of functional pit latrines (98%). A total of 4,012 diarrhoea cases were reported in the County, with an average of 90 cases every month, except in the month of August where 3,020 cases of diarrhoea were reported. There was no apparent relationship observed between WASH practices and occurrence of under five diarrhoea cases.

Conclusion: Water, sanitation and hygiene practices at community level in Machakos County are in keeping with post 2015 WASH targets and indicators, with few cases of under-five diarrhoea reported. Data quality and completeness need to be addressed for effective programme evaluation.


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eISSN: 0012-835X