An exploration of knowledge, attitude and accountability on drinking water quality: the case of Temeke district, Dar es Salaam

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University of Dar es Salaam
Debates on quality drinking water have shifted from the idea of mere improvement of water supply in both rural and urban areas to the examination of quality in drinking water. Through research, possibilities of the presence of microbial and fecal contamination of water through poor water handling and collection of water from unimproved sources have been established. Research shows that human practices and behaviors such as poor water handling during transportation, distribution and storage are the main causes of water contarmination. To suggest possible ways of overcoming this challenge therefore, this study examined knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and practices of Temeke District’s residents in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The aim of this study was to examine if practices, knowledge and attitudes dictate community’s accountability to drinking water quality. Through qualitative, explanatory research approach, the study administered the residents of Miburani ward in Temeke district into four Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and twenty individual interviews (IDIs). The study was theoretically guided by the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), but complemented with the conceptual framework. While theory illuminated the study in theoretical perspective due to explanatory nature of the study, the conceptual framework was important for clearly explanation of concepts in this study (knowledge, ideas, attitudes). Findings of this study show that there are several water handling practices that may lead to contamination of household drinking water. Such practices include failure to conduct household water treatment (HWT) when water source quality is not certain. Other practices include failure to ensure water vessels are clean and well covered; handling water with feacal contaminated hands, as well as reliance on crude measures of water quality such as color and absence of physical elements, to judge water quality. From this study findings, it was also revealed that there is presence of drinking water related health challenges in the study community, most especially for school going children’s consumption of quality drinking water. The study concludes there is indeed need to improve sensitization programs that address community accountability on drinking water quality, firstly to raise awareness but also tackle the existing laziness. The study also recommends that stakeholders’ current efforts to improve water supply and health education should also aim at boosting community’s accountability on drinking water quality through addressing such practices, attitudes and behaviors that affect the quality of household drinking water.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr.Wilbert Chagula Library, (THS EAF HD370.T34L263)
Water quality, Drinking water, Temeke district, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Langula, G. (2020). An exploration of knowledge, attitude and accountability on drinking water quality: the case of Temeke district, Dar es Salaam. Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.