Crossfire: ‘Knowledge sharing should focus on learning culture, rather than the generation of knowledge’
The Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) of WHO and UNICEF has reported progress in drinking-water and sanitation periodically since 1990 and is the United Nations mechanism for tracking MDG Target 10. This paper outlines a number of aspects of monitoring sanitation including different approaches and tools; it describes the way that JMP operates and considers both its strengths and limitations.
This paper reports on an investigation of a multiple-use water supply system (MUS) in Bangladesh which set out to test the claim that MUS meet users’ needs for water more effectively than single-use systems. A water needs framework was developed and water users (84) from three villages were interviewed during June–July 2007. The opinion of the users was that the MUS meet their needs for water better than the conventional systems they replace. The benefits include increased productivity and incomes, reduced irrigation costs and easier access to iron-free domestic water. However, the systems are not affordable for the communities over a ten-year timeframe. The poor have less access to the piped household supply contrasting to near universal access to hand tubewells. Problems are identified relating to ownership, management, representation, skilled staff, external support and the legal framework that leave users vulnerable to powerful owners who control water supply.
Towards understanding the water and sanitation hygiene beliefs and practices of the Twa of south-west Uganda
The Twa of south-west Uganda have reported high morbidity and mortality rates since eviction from their traditional forest lands in 1991. This study seeks to identify their current beliefs with regard to health and hygiene practices. The study is based on semi-structured interviews with 20 individuals in three communities in Kanungu district, Uganda. The Twa attributed most illnesses to changes in their lives, such as food and smells, which fitted a narrative of leaving an idealized forest life. Views with regard to illness prevention ranged from a belief that nothing could be done, to using practices without understanding the reasons for their efficacy (or otherwise), to a use of practices informed by an understanding of Western germ theory. Hygiene behaviours have been adopted where external teachings or practices of neighbours make sense in the Twa world view. It is therefore recommended that future hygiene promotion takes a participatory form, rigorously identifying and working with existing beliefs.