Table 3

Focus group and KII themes, theme descriptions,and example quotes

ThemeDescriptionSubthemes and example quotes
Drowning risk factorsStatements about experiences surrounding drowning and key risk factors identifiedLack of basic water safety knowledge: ‘…people who drown tend to have less knowledge of swimming. If they knew how to swim, they would swim and save their life. Most of the drownings are mainly people who have no survival skills in swimming.‘’ (1)
‘Teachers do not teach the children because they do not know. You cannot teach the student what you do not know.’ (2)
Occupation: ‘It’s because most of the men work in the water bodies. So, the wind may find them, and they are in a canoe, and they get injured. If they cannot save themselves, then they die…’ (3)
Age: ‘People who have died on water bodies… [are] usually from 15 to 35 years. It’s not accidental like a boat (ferry) collapse, but an individual (canoe) death.’ (4)
Risky behaviours ‘So, if I notice that my partner is drunk, I should not allow them to go with me in the water. I can decide to lose the day rather than create an injury on the water. Therefore, it should be a habit in us that when one partner is drunk, we leave them and get someone who is not drunk. That could ensure safety while in water.’ (5)
Religious beliefs: ‘Whoever dies, there will be an explanation for the death, they will say that there is a rich man who has sacrificed him to Ruminat (gods in water).’ (6)
‘They save others if God wishes, others die.’ (7)
Life jacket use: ‘The few life jackets that we have aren’t the life jackets that would save a life… people just put on something even if it is torn. And they tell you that it will help people to see you when you are dead on the water, but not to save your life.’ (8)
Poor boat conditions: ‘There are boats on the water which are for the rich people. So, the worker could be working and inform the boss about an issue on the boat, or it leaks, but they do not bother. Most bosses mind the boat work to bring income, but they do not consider the condition of the boat which the worker uses … when such reports are taken to the bosses, they do not consider it as an issue and so that affects most workers.’ (9)
Dangerous animals: ‘Yes, people who are working around waters, they have been attacked by crocodiles. Sometimes some years ago some hippopotamus I think they were hippopotamus, they came out from the lake because they eat grass in the mainland, they come out and kill people.’ (10)
Challenges to drowning preventionStatements about challenges faced by the community in preventing drowningEnvironmental risk factors: ‘We also have the challenge of unpredictable weather patterns. These days, maybe due to climate change, I am not sure, we have strong waves that can start any time of the day. So, [the waves] usually catch the fishers or the lake users when they are not aware of what is going to happen.’ (11)
Emergency response capacity: ‘Only that as the district we have limited resources. I was saying that we have limited resources as the district but if we had good resources, we would at least provide safety jackets to at least all the transporters.’ (12)
‘…we use the normal health workers around the landing site units to provide first aid in case of such an injury. I don’t think there is any health worker specifically trained in CPR and Pre-Hospital care.’ (13)
Marine police behaviours and relationships: ‘Another thing that cause injury on the water are the marine soldiers who were brought on the lake to prevent poor fishing methods… They have also contributed to drowning on the lake. Some people, when they see them, fear that the marine soldiers will take them to Kitalya Prison. Here there is a saying that ‘I will be taken to Kitalya.’”’ (14)
‘The security of the army and the police. With me being an example, we have been beaten at once by the army people. They didn’t find us fishing but we were training to swim. They collected all of us and we thought they are helping us. So, they took us to the shore and whooped us almost 50 strokes of cane yet even our leaders fear to talk about them.’ (15)
Drowning prevention priorities and solutionsStatements about drowning prevention priorities and solutions proposed by participantsIndividual level: ‘We need to train people in swimming skills” (16)
Community level: “I think is [needed] to carry community sensitization about water safety, behavior and water usage while on water” (17)
National/international level: “NGOs could construct some first aid centers. It would be better to make sure we get the facility first aid centers in every subcounty.’ (18)
‘The government should be responsible for ensuring that that program on drowning is put into schools so that the students are taught [about the] dangers of playing near water bodies. I think it’s the government that is supposed to help us on that issue and not the [community] teachers.’ (19)
  • KII, key informant interview.