10.2.1 Personal barriers

Personal barriers include those resulting from lack of knowledge or awareness. For example, people may not be aware of the health dangers of contamination, and in particular that hands can contaminate water, and they may not know about all the critical times to wash hands. There may also be a lack of knowledge about appropriate disinfection procedures or of household water treatment and filtration devices and other products available, and limited awareness of the health dangers posed by decomposing waste.

People may not have the habit of regular bathing, or good handwashing behaviour because of a lack of time in busy households. It may also be that there is no scoop available in the household for moving faeces, or no jerrycan in the home to use for storing water.

Another personal barrier could be a perception that boiled or purified water has an unpleasant taste.

  • List the personal barriers to improved hygiene and sanitation that result from lack of knowledge or of awareness. Which three of these are the most important in your area? Which other personal barriers are particularly important in your area?

  • You might have included a lack of knowledge or limited awareness of:

    • health dangers of contamination
    • unwashed hands can contaminate water
    • all the critical times to wash hands
    • health dangers from decomposing waste
    • methods for household water treatment
    • products available for disinfection.

    The three that are most important will vary from one area to another but it is likely that lack of awareness of the health dangers, of the fact that hands can contaminate water, and of all the critical times to wash hands will be among them. Other important personal barriers might be that there is no habit of bathing or of good handwashing behaviour.

10.2 Behavioural barriers to improving hygiene and sanitation

10.2.2 Socio-cultural barriers