Latrine installation and use in Bagamoyo District: a study of sociological factors

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University of Dar es Salaam
This is a humble attempt at studying a people’s response towards an innovation. Factors relevant to the response of peasants to a programme of promoting the building and use of latrines as a method of waste disposal in lieu of the traditional practice of “going into the bush”, have been studied. Recourse has been made to archival materials with respect to the history of latrines in Bagamoyo district. A review of some literature on “social change” has been made as background for the study. Data include interviews with development and other health functionaries and their colleagues in the Ward, Division and District. There are also formal interviews with patients in the dispensary and with some family members of a sample of households visited. Despite resounding blames by the “change agents for the peasants’ “laziness and stupidity” there is a clear tendency towards acceptance. The issue seems to be the speed at which the innovation is being accepted. Naturally the change agents would like it accelerated. The manifested acceptance seems to be largely due to the change living environment following the national villagisation programme. Though the programme has been undertaken as part of the health promotion campaign, the rationalisation of the peasants has led them to a greater appreciation of the convenience and esthetic benefits of using latrines. It is hoped that this will ultimately encompass the health aspects. But more important, this rationalisation will, hopefully, provide adequate motivation for a change of defecation pattern so that latrines would become part of their life and environment.
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Hygiene, public, Social conditions, Bagamoyo district
Muhondwa, E. P. Y (1976) Latrine installation and use in Bagamoyo District: a study of sociological factors,Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (