Exploring the Intersection of Sanitation, Hygiene, Water, and Health in Pastoralist Communities in Northern Tanzania

Publication year: 

WASH intersects with all SDGs – this publication is part of a Sanitation Learning Hub and IDS Working Paper series that looks at the intersection of sanitation and other fields.

This paper explores access to water, sanitation, and health in pastoral communities in northern Tanzania.

It argues that the concept of gender, used on its own, is not enough to understand the complexities of sanitation, hygiene, water, and health. It explores pastoralists’ views and perspectives on what is ‘clean’, ‘safe’, and ‘healthy’, and their need to access water and create sanitary arrangements that work for them, given the absence of state provision of modern water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure.

Although Tanzania is committed to enhancing its citizens’ access to WASH services, pastoral sanitation and hygiene tend to be overlooked and little attention is paid to complex ways in which access to ‘clean’ water and ‘adequate sanitation’ is structured in these communities. This paper offers an intersectional analysis of water and sanitation needs, showing how structural discrimination in the form of a lack of appropriate infrastructure, a range of sociocultural norms and values, and individual stratifiers interact to influence the sanitation and health needs of pastoralist men, women, boys, and girls.

Institute of Development Studies