Summary

In this Study Session, you have learned that:

  • The physical environment is the world we can see around us; the social environment is the invisible world of social interactions between people, their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, practices and traditions.
  • As a WASH worker you should understand the attitudes and beliefs about WASH practices in your community and whether they are valued or rejected.
  • You should share your knowledge of how WASH practices benefit human health and protect the environment, but knowledge alone may not convince people to change traditional behaviours.
  • Misconceptions, unhelpful attitudes and factually incorrect beliefs must be respectfully challenged and changed if you are going to achieve the goals for WASH improvement.
  • Economic factors make it difficult for families to afford WASH facilities or make them a priority; however, repeated episodes of avoidable infections are a financial burden that WASH practices could reduce.
  • Gender differences in sanitation behaviour mean that women in particular will be more comfortable, private and safe if they can access a latrine.
  • Handwashing at critical times protects everyone from infection.
  • Protecting the environment from pollution by faeces and other waste is a responsibility that everyone should share and value.
  • Behaviour change communication strategies engage the whole community in developing an action plan, to make WASH facilities more available and good WASH practices the norm.

Last modified: Tuesday, 2 August 2016, 4:47 PM