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Households’ awareness and practices on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in an Arid Region of Northwestern Nigeria-Sokoto State

M. Mustapha
O. T. Okareh
M. K. C. Sridhar
M. M. Aliyu


Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) accessibility is more critical in arid regions where rainfall is low and other water resources are scanty. This study assesses Households’ awareness and practices regarding WASH in Sokoto State, an arid region in Northwestern Nigeria. A total of 854 questionnaires were administered to respondents in addition to physical observations conducted. From the study, water scarcity was a major problem confronting the State, particularly in the dry season. The major water sources utilized were the unprotected hand dug wells (79.3%). The common water treatment methods used were filtration through cloth (72.1%). Water storage and collection attitudes and practices were rated as good as 69.0% of the respondents stored water in covered clay pots and 82.1% use cups with handle to draw water. Lack of funds led to poor excreta disposal systems and high open field defecation practices (78.9%). On the aspects of hygiene, children’s faeces were mostly disposed into bush (82.5%) and 55.6% did not use soap to wash hands after defecation. The major diseases reported in the communities included malaria, diarrhea and dysentery, therefore, there is a need for the provision of WASH facilities to combat these diseases. WASH education and financial empowerment are necessary towards protecting public health in the study area.