Understanding water security and household water hygiene in resource-limited settings in Kenya

Robinson, J. , Majiwa, H. and Howland, O. (2022) Understanding water security and household water hygiene in resource-limited settings in Kenya. In: Turk, S. Š. and Rozman, U. (eds.) Hygiene and Health in Developing Countries: Recent Advances. IntechOpen: London. ISBN 9781803566245 (doi: 10.5772/intechopen.108231)

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Climate change means that many more people find themselves living in areas of environmental disadvantage, with water insecurity recognized as a major health issue. Local ecologies shape everyday hygiene practices in households as people respond to diurnal and seasonal changes in their external environment. Periods of water shortage paradoxically increase the risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera, exacerbated by reduced washing to conserve limited supplies. Unpredictable periods of drought and/or flooding compromise household income, and families cannot afford the basic resources they need to keep themselves and others clean. The risks of water borne diseases, such as typhoid, giardia and cholera, are reduced by strategies that improve the sourcing, storage, and treatment of drinking water in areas of environmental disadvantage. In this chapter we first outline global water insecurity in the context of climate change and the negative effects on people’s physical and mental health. We develop our ideas by drawing on our fieldwork, specifically depth interviews with over 50 people living in Kware, Ongata Rongai outside Nairobi, Kenya, to consider how people negotiate persistent water insecurity in resource-limited settings. We conclude the chapter with reflections on the barriers and opportunities to improve water security and hygiene practices.

Item Type:Book Sections
Additional Information:Print ISBN: 9781803566238
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Robinson, Professor Jude
Authors: Robinson, J., Majiwa, H., and Howland, O.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Published Online:30 November 2022
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