An Application of the Integrated Behavioral Model for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene to Assess Perceived Community Acceptability and Feasibility of the Biosand Filter among Maasai Pastoralists in Rural Tanzania

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  • 1 Public Health Coordinator, Rogaland Fylkeskommune, Norway
  • | 2 Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • | 3 Medical Student Intern, University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada
  • | 4 Endulen Hospital, Tanzania
  • | 5 Professor of Public Health, Department of Public Health Science, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

In addition to diarrheal disease risk, lack of access to safe water may have other indirect effects throughout one’s life, such as school and workplace absenteeism, leading to less economic productivity. In contexts with scarce resources and unsafe drinking water, household water treatment and safe storage options such as the Biosand filter (BSF) allows households to directly reduce contamination and increase the quality of their drinking water. This study aimed to develop an understanding of perceived community acceptability and feasibility related to pre- and post-implementation of a BSF pilot project in rural Maasai households in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), Tanzania. The study was guided by the Integrated Behavioral Model for Water Sanitation and Hygiene interventions (IBM-WASH) to understand the various factors influencing end-user perceptions of the BSF. In-depth interviews, group discussions and think tanks were conducted among a cross-section of community members, stakeholders, and other actors from May 2016 to September 2017. The data were analyzed using a thematic content analysis approach. A range of perceived contextual, technological, and psychosocial factors were found to potentially affect the acceptability and feasibility of BSF adoption in the NCA, highlighting the complex layers of influences in the setting. Whilst the BSF is seemingly an accepted option to treat water within the NCA, the community identified key barriers that may lower BSF adoption. The application of the IBM-WASH model served as a useful framework for evaluating the introduction of the BSF, identifying insights into contextual, technological, and psychosocial community factors.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Sheri Bastien, Department of Public Health Science, Norwegian University of Health Sciences, Post Box 5003, 1432 Ås, Norway. E-mail: sheri.lee.bastien@nmbu.no

Financial support: Funding for the research was provided by the University of Calgary, Canada, and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway.

Disclaimer: The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Authors’ addresses: Tina Paasche, Public Health Coordinator, Rogaland Fylkeskommune, Norway, E-mail: tina.paasche@gmail.com. Mairead Whelan, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, E-mail: mairead.whelan@ucalgary.ca. Marissa Nahirney, University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada, E-mail: mnahirne@ualberta.ca. Saningo Olemshumba, Endulen Hospital, Tanzania, E-mail: olesaningo2005@gmail.com. Sheri Bastien, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Alberta and University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada, E-mail: sheri.lee.bastien@nmbu.no.

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