Analysis of hygiene and sanitation infrastructure in primary schools in Soroti District
Kitui, Esther Mwalye
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This study carried out an analysis of the hygiene and sanitation infrastructure in primary schools in Soroti district. The specific objectives of the study were to identify factors responsible for poor hygiene and sanitation, assess strategies and policies in place to promote proper management of hygiene and sanitation infrastructure, and to establish the perceptions of pupils and school administration towards hygiene and sanitation in Soroti district. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design with both qualitative and quantitative approaches in which 285 respondents who included staff from office of the DEO, head teachers, teachers, members of SMCs and PTAs. Data was collected through face to face interviews, focus group discussions and completion of questionnaires. Observations were also made. The average mean for all the responses about factors responsible for the hygiene and sanitation situation was found to be 4.862 implying that those factors had a very high influence on the hygiene and sanitation situation in the schools. These factors include number of latrines, type of latrine, separation of latrines based on gender and disability, poor use of the facilities, availability of water, hand washing facilities, availability of cleaning materials; privacy during use of facilities and accessibility of hygiene education. Furthermore, there are several strategies used in the maintenance of hygiene and sanitation in the schools. The mean value of the strategies was found to be 2.561 implying that application of the strategies is poor. The strategies include hygiene education, guidance to girls on personal hygiene, provision of knowledge and skills on sanitation and hygiene and communication of messages through school parades. Finally the results indicated that the average mean for all the items under perception of respondents was found to be 2.655 implying that the respondent had a moderate positive perception about maintenance of hygiene and sanitation in the schools. It was concluded that there are several factors responsible for poor hygiene and sanitation in primary schools in Soroti district. It is also noted that there are limited strategies despite the presence of policies and programmes to promote sanitation and hygiene in the schools; and that the pupils and school administration have a poor perception towards hygiene and sanitation in the primary schools. Hence, there is need to re-orient the teaching of hygiene and sanitation both at the primary school and PTC levels, to ensure that methods and content to empower learners to become more proactive, and critically aware of their responsibility in maintaining hygiene and sanitation. The key departments in the district should plan and budget specified school sanitation and hygiene activities based on school plans. Finally, efforts should be made by the school authorities to ensure that sanitation and hygiene is clearly budgeted for and head teachers should be more sensitive or positive to sanitation and hygiene priorities.