The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4281.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 4

Abstract #63869

Daily water collection behavior in rural Uganda

Eri (Elli) Sugita, Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, 706 NW 97th Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32607, 352-331-3491,

This poster presentation focuses on daily water collection behavior in a rural African village without piped water. The study seeks to identify how and why people choose certain water sources; and what determines the amount of water collected daily. Although the importance of providing safe water is well understood by researchers and aid organizations, how and which water infrastructure to provide remains debatable. One key is to understand the behaviors of the beneficiaries and investigate the determinants of those behaviors. Data presented here is based on 12 months of monitoring and direct observation of people's behavior at water sources and at 50 households. The direct observation of households entailed visiting each household monthly and staying for several hours. To obtain data on people's knowledge and perspective, ethnographic interviews were conducted as well. The longitudinal research took place in an agricultural area in the Mbale district of eastern Uganda. At a glance, the area is lush, indicating high rainfall (over 1191mm) and does not appear to have major water problems. Yet this area had the highest mortality of cholera when the disease hit the country in 1998. During my fieldwork in 2000-2001, some infrastructural changes were occurring as DANIDA and an Ugandan NGO were constructing bore-holes and protected-springs. The research results suggest that distance is not necessarily the dominating factor in people's water collection, and different intervention strategies are necessary for drinking water and water for domestic use. Rainwater utilization at the domestic level should also be given more emphasis.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Water, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

International Health Student Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA