SummaryApart from Drawers of Water (DOW I) published in 1972, there have been only a handful of published studies on domestic water use and environmental health in East Africa, based on direct observations or other reliable research methods. The objective of this study was to carry out a repeat analysis of domestic water use and environmental health in East Africa based on DOW I. The study was conducted in the same sites as DOW I. Field assistants spent at least 1 day in each household observing and conducting semi-structured interviews. They measured the amount of water collected, recorded the amount of water used in the home, and noted household socio-demographic characteristics, prevalence of diarrhoea, state and use of latrines, sources of water and conditions of use. We surveyed 1015 households in 33 sites in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya in 1997. From 1967to 1997, the prevalence of diarrhoea, in the week preceding the survey, increased from 6% to 18% in Kenya and from 16% to 21% in Uganda; it declined slightly in Tanzania (11-8%). Determinants of diarrhoea morbidity included poor hygiene (unsafe disposal of faeces and wastewater), education level of household head, obtaining water from surface sources or wells and per capita water used for cleaning. Hygiene practices are an important complement to improved water and sanitation in reducing diarrhoea morbidity.
This paper reports on changes in water supplies in 16 sites in nine East African urban centres (including Nairobi and Dar es Salaam) between 1967 and 1997. The sites included both low-income and affluent neighbourhoods. In most sites, water supplies had deteriorated. For sites that already had piped water in 1967, most received less water per day in 1997 and had more unreliable supplies. For households without piped supplies, the average time spent collecting water in 1997 was more than three times that in 1967. One of the most notable changes when comparing 1997 to 1967 was the much greater importance of private water vending through kiosks or vendors; these had become a booming business in many of the low- and middle-income sites. But on average, those using kiosks were spending almost 2 hours a day collecting water and the water from kiosks was nearly twice the price of piped supplies.
Latrine possession, disposal of children's faeces and waste-water in 1015 households in 33 sites in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda were studied in 1997. Assistants conducted interviews and observed the state and use of latrines, disposal of children's faeces, wastewater, and household socio-demographic characteristics. Latrine possession was 92.4% in Uganda, 95% in Kenya and 99.5% in Tanzania. In unpiped sites, 73.5% of Ugandan, 90.5% of Tanzanian and 95% of Kenyan households had latrines. Over 30% of latrines in rural Uganda were contaminated with faeces, compared with 10% in Tanzania. More latrines in urban Kenya and Uganda had contaminated surroundings than in the rural areas. The mean number of people using a toilet in the urban areas (10) was significantly higher than in rural areas (7), (F = 45.5; P < 0.001). Toilets in Kenya and Uganda were more likely to be fouled than in Tanzania. Households where the head was an educated professional or business person, or the toilet had a door, lid or concrete wall or floor or waste water was disposed of in the latrine, were less likely to have fouled toilets. Most households disposed of the faeces safely with a few placing them in the garden or elsewhere. The study emphasises the need to promote appropriate sanitation and hygiene.
The published literature leads the reader to expect polarization between conservation and development communities as to the relationship between biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. A survey of over 1,000 conservation and development professionals does not, however, support this depiction. Indeed it reveals a surprising consensus of opinion that there is a positive link between biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation. Where there is some division, is over the direction of that link-conservation as a means to poverty alleviation, or poverty alleviation as a means to conservation-but again conservation and development organizations appear equally divided in their views. Extreme positions often dominate policy debates, hindering progress towards effective, integrated approaches. Our analysis indicates that this may be true of the conservation-poverty debate. Debate is needed not on whether conservation and poverty are linked and whose role it is to address each agenda but on how to develop conservation and development programmes that find integrated solutions to shared challenges. This could greatly inform the process of revising national biodiversity strategies that has recently been started by Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and which potentially present a real opportunity for linking conservation and development in policy and practice.
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