Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Households as Determinants of Access to Water, Hygiene and Sanitation in So-Ava, Benin

Adoption of good hygiene and sanitation practices is a major determining factor in household well-being and development of community members. In this study, the influence of socio-demographic factors on household hygiene and sanitation behaviour was assessed using interviews. The results revealed that 68% of households did not cover their containers during the transport of water; 58% of respondents defecated in water and 31% in the open air. Only 40% of households washed their hands with water and soap after defecation; 42% of respondents discharged their wastes into the water body while 34% discharged them into the natural environment; 49% of the respondents evacuated their wastewater into the water body while 51% preferred to pour them into the wild. Most of the practices of the populations were not conducive for ensuring healthy drinking water quality and preserving their health mainly due to their low educational level. Improvement of household socio-economic status and access to education, enhancing the capacity of water and sanitation personnel and community groups to achieve and sustain equitable access to, and use of, improved drinking water and basic sanitation and adoption of improved hygiene practices would contribute to the reduction of water borne diseases.

Author(s): Luc O. Sintondji, Expedit Vissin, Oswald F. Dan, Elliott R. Dossou-Yovo and Dodji Amouzouvi