2023 Volume 7 Issue 1 Pages 7-21
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, several governments of Sub-Saharan African countries, including Cameroon, have promoted social distancing, handwashing, wearing masks, and other countermeasures against the spread of the virus. However, in addition to the population not following proper protective measures, peri-urban and urban slum communities remained particularly vulnerable given their high population density, inadequate sanitation facilities and financial constraints. Therefore, it is important to examine the attitudes and behaviors towards tailored sanitation interventions among peri-urban and urban slum populations. This paper recounts the activities and impact of a demonstrative campaign executed by a Yaoundé-based NGO, TamTam Mobile, in collaboration with Japanese researchers, that aimed to empower vulnerable communities in slums against the spread of the virus. In the first study, we raised awareness about good hygiene attitudes and practices and demonstrated proper handwashing skills. The second study reports and deliberates data obtained through interviews with households about their perceptions of toilets. Findings from these two studies indicated a sense of responsibility, cleanliness, privacy, and safety among users, but also exposed issues of inadequate and unregulated sanitation partly due to poor knowledge on toilet management practices. This information provides those who aim to support these communities with a better understanding of their needs and priorities, which may be relatable to the needs of similar peri-urban and urban slum communities.