Access and utilization of water and sanitation facilities and their determinants among pastoralists in the rural areas of northern Tanzania
Introduction: Lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene remains one of the most pressing global health issues of our time. Water and sanitation-related improvements are crucial in meeting the Global Sustainable Development Goals. This study was conducted to determine the access, utilization, and determinants of access to sanitation facilities among pastoral communities in rural areas of northern Tanzania.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out in Ngorongoro Conservation Area of Ngorongoro District in northern Tanzania. The survey included key measures adapted from the Joint WHO/UNICEF Core Questions on drinking-water and sanitation for Household Surveys. An observation checklist was also completed at each household. Geographical positions of the households were recorded using a Global Positioning System.
Results: A total of 175 households participated in the study. More than half (61.7%, n=108) of the participants reported access to an improved water source throughout the year. The majority (50.3%, n=88) of the households reportedly practised open defecation. The multivariate analysis identified that the key determinants to access a sanitation facility at a household were socio-economic status, family size, the presence of under-five years of age in the household, history of diarrhoeal diseases – self-reported of an adult, having ever received education on sanitation and motivation for improvement in defecation place.
Conclusion: There is limited access to water and sanitation facilities in communities in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Individual and community factors are key determinants for a household to own a sanitation facility. Findings from this study indicate a need for interventions to improve access to water and sanitation facilities in the area.