COMMUNITY KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE,AND PRACTICES REGARDING SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT IN ISINGIRO TOWN COUNCIL, SOUTH WESTERN UGANDA
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Introduction: Management of solid waste is still a challenge facing urban authorities in Uganda and Isingiro town council is no exception. The town council has been beset with difficulties associated with indiscriminate solid waste management. This is evidenced in diarrheal diseases prevalence, which ranks highest in the Town. Females and children below five years being the most affected groups. The Town Council had invested a lot in proper solid waste management; however there were no direct results to this effect. Objective: The main objective of the study was to assess factors influencing solid waste management in Isingiro town council, in south western Uganda in order to provide stakeholders with information that would be used to design appropriate interventions towards proper solid waste management. Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study design using quantitative methods was designed. Multi stage sampling procedure was used to obtain villages and households. The numbers of households per village was selected proportionate to size based on local registers. A total of 385 households were randomly selected. A structured questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data. Data was field edited and coded before entry into Epi-Info software. Data was then cleaned before analysis. Analysis included counts, percentages and frequencies. Results: Majority of the respondents 70.3% (271/385) were females and more than half 52.2% (201/385) of them were above 30 years of age, with a mean of 32.7 years. About 74.5% (287/385) of the study respondents knew what solid waste was. Over quarter of study respondents, 27.0% (104/385) didn’t know any method of solid waste management. In addition, 84.2% (324/385) agreed that it was the town council’s responsibility to keep their place clean. About half 51.2% (197/385) of study respondents had waste receptacle, 73.0% (281/385) reported that the local council was the responsible body for waste collection and disposal and 56.6% (218/385) reported that solid waste collection and disposal was done on a weekly basis. Only 8.6% (33/385) of study respondents reported they separate waste. Conclusions: There were generally high knowledge about solid waste management; a significant number didn’t know any proper solid waste management option. There were generally good attitudes and bad practices like not having waste receptacle and nonsegregation of waste. There should be intensive health education and sensitization of households regarding solid waste management.