The role of theatre for development in changing sanitation practices of Chazanga community in Lusaka district Zambia

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Hatontola, Fearless Masenke Michelo
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The University of Zambia
With the ever increasing population in urban areas, mushrooming of unplanned settlements and rate of urbanization exceeding rate of infrastructure development, the provision of water and sanitation service delivery has proved a challenge in Zambia. A number of strategies to mitigate this problem, among them, theatre for development has been used. It was for this reason that the study investigated the role of theatre for development in changing sanitation practices of Chazanga Community in Lusaka District of Zambia. The purpose of this study was to assess the role of Theatre for development (TfD) in changing the sanitation practices of Chazanga people. The study was guided by the following objectives: to examine how Theatre for development was used in changing hygiene and sanitation practices of Chazanga Community; to determine the changes in hygiene and sanitation practices of the Chazanga Community after TfD; and determine challenges that inhibited change in hygiene and sanitation practices in Chazanga Community after TfD. This study adopted a concurrent mixed method design. It had a sample of 126 respondents; 120 respondents for questionnaires from the 12 zones of Chazanga selected using systematic random sampling; and 6 purposely sampled interviewees from the facilitators of Theatre for development, namely; 2 from Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company, 2 from Chazanga Water Trust, 1 from Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and 1 Community Leader. Data was collected using interviews, observations and questionnaires. Qualitative data were analyzed using themes while quantitative data were analyzed using statistical package (SPSS Version 23) and presented in descriptive statistics in form of pie charts, tables and bar graphs. The findings of the study revealed that the facilitators of Tfd presented pre-packed messages to audiences through performances, dances and songs. Findings showed that TfD played the role of community mobilization, information dissemination and change in attitudes and behaviours of the community. Notable changes were an increase in the number of people drawing water from safe sources; an increase in people building sanitation facilities; and increase in the number of people washing hands at critical times and majority people practicing good hygiene and sanitation. Low earnings, poor service delivery for water supply and waste management, education and population growth were found to be among the challenges inhibiting change in hygiene and sanitation practices after TfD. Based on the findings and discussions, the study recommended that LWSC should use more participatory theatre techniques from project inception to evaluation as an addition to Agitprop technique. It should also conduct more sensitization in the community.
Theatre--Hygiene education --Zambia