Comparative Analysis of Factors That Influence Consistent Use of Household Water Treatment and Storage in Northern Kenya
Wainaina, George Kiambuthi
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Economic, technical, behavioral and contextual factors in an emergency context influence the consistent use of household water filters. Use of household water treatment and storage (HWTS) options improves water quality in emergency contexts and consistent use leads to health benefits. However, HWTS options are often designed for the typical household environment, not taking into account unique challenges faced during emergencies. The study aimed at comparatively analyzing factors that influence consistent use of household ceramic water filters in Northern Kenya which was facing prolonged droughts. The study followed both qualitative and quantitative design using structured observations, questionnaires and a focus group discussion. Spearman’s correlation analysis and multivariate regression models were used to understand and explain the predictors of consistency of use of household filters. Findings indicate that consistency of use of filters is affected by different factors. Those filters with a two-bucket interface design were mostly affected by design factors such as functional status indicators while those with one-bucket interface design were mostly affected by psychosocial and economic factors such as peer approval and availability of spare parts. The context, i.e. how well these filters fit in the shelters, was a strong determinant of consistency in filter use for both groups. Regression models showed an increase in percentage of consistency of use by 22 points with agreement to good fit in the house. These findings suggest that, WASH actors should take into account these factors during filter-based interventions in emergency contexts. A tradeoff between space occupied by the filter and filter capacity and how they affect fit in the shelters still exists.