Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)

We collected information on water, sanitation and hygiene as part of our 2011 survey on child health. Across Bauchi and Cross River states, about 4 in every 10 households had access to an improved water source – water from a tap, bore-hole or a tube-well. These water sources were available either within or outside the household compound. A higher proportion of urban households had access to an improved water source than rural households.

Field team observed household water storage containers. About one-third of households across both the states kept their drinking water container clean, covered and raised from ground. It was rare that people do anything to purify their drinking water. Only 2.4% of households in Bauchi state and only 5% of households in Cross River state boiled their drinking water. About the same proportion of households in both the states respectively filtered their drinking water. A small number used other water purification methods that are not usually considered effective.

Field workers also observed sanitation conditions in and around households. In Bauchi, about 2 in every 10 households had no visible garbage, sewage or excreta in or around the compound. This situation was better in Cross River state where 6 in every 10 households had no visible garbage, sewage or excreta in or around the compound. Across the states, a higher proportion of urban households than rural households had no visible garbage, sewage or excreta.

An average household in Bauchi state was more likely to maintain good hygienic conditions (no visible garbage, sewage and excreta around the compound) if it was from an urban site or it kept the drinking water container clean, covered and raised from ground.

A group of women participate in a focus group discussion on child health, 2011

An average household in Cross River state was more likely to maintain good hygienic conditions if there was a local area or village development committee, it was from an urban site, the house-crowding was up to 2 people per room or it kept the drinking water container clean, covered and raised from ground.

People in focus groups discussed different ways of spreading awareness in communities on cleanliness. Many groups said that health workers and community notables should tell people to keep their water containers clean, raised and covered. Some groups also talked about the role of government health inspectors and said that they could visit houses to see if they were clean or not.

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