The Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), has conducted a dissemination meeting on the ‘Creating Demand for Sanitation’ project with over 50 people from various organisations and government institutions in attendance.
CIDRZ partnered with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), to design behavioural intervention in Zambia.
Speaking at the meeting held at Taj Pamodzi Hotel, CIDRZ Chief Executive Officer Dr. Izukanji Sikazwe said the intervention was embedded in behaviour science that was aimed at creating demand for sanitation, among users in a peri-urban area of Lusaka.
Dr. Sikazwe said “this intervention whose findings we are disseminating today, started in July 2017 with funding from the Department for Inte
rnational Development (DFID), through the ‘Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity’ (SHARE) Consortium”.
She further said the intervention was borne out of the realisation that; Zambia’s progression towards meeting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6), that emphasises the need to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all had been slow, with only a slight growth in the proportion of those with basic sanitation from 24% to 26% between 2000 and 2017 with the remaining using unimproved sanitation facilities.
And CIDRZ Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Roma Chilengi said the intervention was influenced by the increasing number in shared sanitation.
Dr. Chilengi said “in Zambia, between 2000 and 2017, the proportion of those using shared sanitation has increased from 10% to 18%”.
“Most of the shared sanitation is poorly maintained and become unhygienic: as a result, instead of protecting people from contact with excreta, they may even become a focus of infection” he said.
He further said that CIDRZ had set out to find and test interventions which could help improve the state of toilets without requiring supply side interventions.