COVID 19 pandemic and behavioural change toward water hygiene and sanitation (WASH): A study in rural Odisha, India

Original Article

Author Details : Saswatik Tripathy*, Loknath Sahu

Volume : 8, Issue : 2, Year : 2021

Article Page : 70-74

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Background: COVID-19 Pandemic is not the first-ever pandemic which hit this globe, but it is the deadliest and possesses enough capability to shake the so-called developed global system. Additionally, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been detected in feces of infected individuals, leading to the possibility that fecal-oral transmission could also play a role in virus transmission, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with high rates of open defecation, ineffective fecal sludge management, and poor access to safe drinking water. So people’s behaviour towards WASH is very important at this time.
Materials and Methods: This study was done in two rural districts of Odisha, i.e. Sambalpur and Mayurbhanj. The district, blocks, villages were selected with simple random sampling. A sample size of 50 was taken through telephonic interviews.
Results: This study was done to understand the real life scenario of rural Odisha and how COVID 19 pandemic shape their behaviour toward the water hygiene and sanitation. So the research was designed in such a manner so that it can capture the important dimensions of WASH. The sample size includes a non-homogeneous group which represents the rural population in terms of social, economic, educational and gender perspectives. During the S1 situation if the source of drinking water is taken into consideration people were using those sources from many years and after lot of efforts from the government side people never changed their behaviour, people’s perspective on water treatment and hand washing were so strong that there was 32 percent people who never used to wash their hands they don’t even think it was important (38% people. At least 34 percent people used to thought there was no need of treating water before drinking when 46 percent of the sample population was using the open water source. But these scenarios changed after they lose their hope on their own immunity during the S2 situation. The numbers of washing hands increase, people started using soap and the perspective towards the water treatment also changed towards a positive aspect.
Conclusion: This study clearly finds that 3As (Availability, Accessibility and Affordability) is not enough for behavioural change towards WASH but it needs 4As (Availability, Accessibility, Affordability and Accountability) and 1I (Intension). Because until people understand that they are accountable for their own vulnerability they will not able to think about the behavioural change and without their intension they cannot start the process.

Keywords : COVID 19, WASH, Behavioural change, Odisha.

How to cite : Tripathy S, Sahu L, COVID 19 pandemic and behavioural change toward water hygiene and sanitation (WASH): A study in rural Odisha, India. J Community Health Manag 2021;8(2):70-74

Copyright © 2021 by author(s) and J Community Health Manag. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (

Article History

Received : 22-06-2021

Accepted : 05-07-2021

Available online : 27-07-2021

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