oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Wastewater and solid waste disposal patterns of Dukem town households in Ethiopia : original research



The objective of this descriptive, cross-sectional study was to assess wastewater and solid waste management by the households of Dukem, a town in Ethiopia. A total of 391 households were selected using stratified random sampling techniques. Face-to-face interviews were carried out with respondents by asking questions about wastewater and solid waste management in the households. A majority (75.1%) of households used unsafe wastewater disposal methods. Approximately two thirds (67.7%) of households had a temporary storage container in their compound in which to store solid waste. 53.3% of households used a safe solid waste disposal method. Only 4.9% of the households used waste as manure (compost) for home gardening. More than a quarter (28.1%) of households practised burning waste on their premises. The availability of safe wastewater disposal facilities was significantly associated with private home ownership and family size (p-value < 0.05). There was no significant association between the availability of safe solid waste disposal facilities and owning a private home or family size (p-value > 0.05). Generally, there were inadequate domestic wastewater and solid waste disposal facilities in the studied households. Thus, there is a need for improved waste management in the households. Environmental health and health education programmes should be emphasised in order to improve practices of household waste management.


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