Barriers and Enabling Factors Associated with the Implementation of Household Solar Water Disinfection: A Qualitative Study in Northwest Ethiopia.Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 02; 102(2):458-467.AJ
Household water treatment including solar disinfection (SODIS) is recognized worldwide as an important intervention for prevention and control of diarrheal and other waterborne diseases. However, in Ethiopia's countryside, SODIS is not being practiced. Therefore, the objective of this qualitative study conducted in villages of Dabat district in northwest Ethiopia was to explore barriers to and enabling factors for consistent and wider implementation of SODIS. This phenomenological study design included four focus group discussions with 25 parents of children younger than 5 years and interviews with four key informants to elicit their experiences and opinions. ATLAS.ti 8.0 software (GmbH, Berlin, Germany) was used for data organization, and the content was analyzed thematically. Enabling factors were categorized into four themes, such as supportive values for SODIS (positive attitude, advantage of SODIS, and cultural acceptance of SODIS), consistent use of SODIS (community's interest, health education, availability of bright sunlight, and simplicity of the method), participation of family and community in daily implementation of the SODIS process (controlling theft of bottles and recognizing the importance of SODIS technology), and willingness to pay for new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. On the other hand, barriers were grouped into three themes such as sociocultural (poor knowledge, hesitation to leave SODIS bottles unguarded outdoor, less attention, and unplanned social events), environmental (cloud, shadow over SODIS bottles, turbidity and leeches in source water, and geographical settings), and behavioral (mishandling of SODIS bottles and drinking water). The analysis of the data revealed that all the participants had positive attitude toward the implementation of SODIS, and it was culturally accepted. They identified the barriers to and enabling factors for the implementation of SODIS. Promoting enabling factors and mitigating barriers are substantially important for consistent implementation of SODIS as a long-term interventional measure widely in rural Ethiopia for the achievement of the goal of safe drinking water for all.