ADOPTION OF WATER AND SANITATION RECOMMENDED PRACTICES AMONG FARMERS IN RURAL AREAS OF PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA

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ADOPTION OF WATER AND SANITATION RECOMMENDED PRACTICES AMONG FARMERS IN RURAL AREAS OF PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA

Abstract:

The issue of bad water and sanitation practices leading to cases of water borne diseases among farmers has continued to be a concern in Plateau State. Stakeholders in water and sanitation sector introduced a set of recommended practices to farmers with the aim of reducing the incidences of the diseases. This study was conducted to determine the adoption of water and sanitation recommended practices among farmers in rural areas of Plateau State. The specific objectives of the study were to: determine the levels of awareness and adoption of WATSAN recommended practices; determine the attitudes of farmers towards WATSAN recommended practices; determine the factors influencing adoption of WATSAN recommended practices; compare the levels of compliance of WATSAN recommended practices in rural areas of Plateau State with international standards; assess the perceived effects of adoption of WATSAN recommended practices on farmers and identify constraints to adoption of the recommended practices in rural areas of Plateau State. From a total of 1860 farm households, 279 heads of households were sampled to be the respondents through the use of both purposive and systematic random sampling techniques. Data were analyzed by descriptive analysis and multiple regression using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS). Findings revealed that average household size was about7 people with mean income of about N454, 000.00 per annum. Formal educational level of farmers was generally low with mean years of schooling of about 9 years. It was further observed that 99% of farmers were aware of the WATSAN recommended practices and out of the seven recommended practices, adoption of storage of water in clean containers had the highest adoption. On the attitudes of respondents to WATSAN recommended practices, findings revealed that only 30% of farmers generally had positive attitudes towards WATSAN recommended practice. In the case of factors that influenced adoption of WATSAN recommended practices, results of multiple regression showed that seven out of the ten variables in the conceptual model influenced adoption of WATSAN recommended practices significantly at the P<0.1 chosen for this study as follows: attitude to WATSAN recommended practices (r=7.514;P<0,01), gender(r=-2.146; P=0.05), formal educational level (r=2.375;P<0.05) , compatibility(r=1.823 P<0.10), household size (r=-1.778;P< 0.10), affordability (r=1.78;P<0.10) and sources of information (r=1.767;P< 0.10). Results of this study also revealed non compliance to the international standards of WATSAN recommended practice. This was precipitated by high percentage of people with WATSAN related diseases in the previous one year, inadequate water usage, low percentage of people with appropriate hand washing behaviours and also low percentage of people with access to and proper use of toilets/latrines which were 30%, 37 lcd, 8% and 15% respectively against the international standards of 25%, 50Lcd 50% and 75% respectively for the same recommended practices. Results on assessment of perceived effects of WATSAN on respondents indicated that majority of farmers actually perceived the adoption of WATSAN recommended practices as having positive effects on them, especially in increased hygienic practices, decreased health-care expenditure, increased productive time for agricultural activities and increased children‘s school attendance. Bad habits towards hygiene (94%) were found to be the major constraint of adoption of WATSAN recommends practices. Based on the finding of this study, it was recommended that there is need for sustained efforts in educating farmers on the dangers of non adherence to WATSAN recommended practices and also legislation in the local government council‘s by-laws is necessary to enforce compliance .There is need to mainstream gender equality in our school curriculum to wipe awaysexdiscrimination in performing house chores, Farmers should be encouraged to develop their local water purification methods like the use of Moringa leaves‘ powder which is cheaper and readily available disinfectant in the study area. Government should prioritize improvements in living conditions of farmers by creating enabling environment for observation of improved hygienic practices.

ADOPTION OF WATER AND SANITATION RECOMMENDED PRACTICES AMONG FARMERS IN RURAL AREAS OF PLATEAU STATE, NIGERIA

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