image of Sanitation and Hygiene Practices in Small Towns in Tanzania: The Case of Babati District, Manyara Region
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Formative research findings from the fast-growing Babati town were used to assess the prevalence of sanitation and hygiene practices among individuals and institutions and associated factors. A cross-sectional study involving household surveys, spot-checks, focus group discussions, in-depth interviews, and structured observations of behaviors showed that 90% of households have sanitation facilities, but 68% have safely managed sanitation services. The most common types of household sanitation facilities were pit latrines with slab (42%) followed by flush/pour flush toilets (32%). Therefore, the management of wastewater depends entirely on onsite sanitation systems. The majority of households (70%) do not practice proper hygiene behaviors. Thirteen percent of the households had handwashing stations with soap and water, handwashing practice being more common to women (38%) than men (18%). The reported handwashing practices during the four critical moments (handwashing with soap before eating and feeding, after defecation, after cleaning child’s bottom, and after touching any dirt/dust) differed from the actual/observed practices. Households connected to the town’s piped water supply were more likely to practice handwashing than those not directly connected. Sanitation and hygiene behaviors of the people in the study area were seen to be influenced by sociodemographic, cultural, and economic factors. The conditions of sanitation and hygiene facilities in public places were unsatisfactory. There is an urgent need to ensure that the sanitation and hygiene services and behaviors along the value chain (from waste production/source to disposal/end point) are improved both at the household level and in public places through improved sanitation services and the promotion of effective hygiene behavior change programs integrated into ongoing government programs and planning.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 25 Jul 2019
  • Accepted : 05 Jun 2020
  • Published online : 17 Aug 2020
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