Acceptance and use of eight arsenic-safe drinking water options in Bangladesh.
ABSTRACT: Arsenic contamination of drinking water is a serious public health threat. In Bangladesh, eight major safe water options provide an alternative to contaminated shallow tubewells: piped water supply, deep tubewells, pond sand filters, community arsenic-removal, household arsenic removal, dug wells, well-sharing, and rainwater harvesting. However, it is uncertain how well these options are accepted and used by the at-risk population. Based on the RANAS model (risk, attitudes, norms, ability, and self-regulation) this study aimed to identify the acceptance and use of available safe water options. Cross-sectional face-to-face interviews were used to survey 1,268 households in Bangladesh in November 2009 (n = 872), and December 2010 (n = 396). The questionnaire assessed water consumption, acceptance factors from the RANAS model, and socioeconomic factors. Although all respondents had access to at least one arsenic-safe drinking water option, only 62.1% of participants were currently using these alternatives. The most regularly used options were household arsenic removal filters (92.9%) and piped water supply (85.6%). However, the former result may be positively biased due to high refusal rates of household filter owners. The least used option was household rainwater harvesting (36.6%). Those who reported not using an arsenic-safe source differed in terms of numerous acceptance factors from those who reported using arsenic-safe sources: non-users were characterized by greater vulnerability; showed less preference for the taste and temperature of alternative sources; found collecting safe water quite time-consuming; had lower levels of social norms, self-efficacy, and coping planning; and demonstrated lower levels of commitment to collecting safe water. Acceptance was particularly high for piped water supplies and deep tubewells, whereas dug wells and well-sharing were the least accepted sources. Intervention strategies were derived from the results in order to increase the acceptance and use of each arsenic-safe water option.
Project description:Continuous access to adequate quantities of safe water is essential for human health and socioeconomic development. Piped water systems (PWSs) are an increasingly common type of water supply in rural African small towns. We assessed temporal and spatial patterns in water consumption from public standpipes of four PWSs in Ghana in order to assess clean water demand relative to other available water sources. Low water consumption was evident in all study towns, which manifested temporally and spatially. Temporal variability in water consumption that is negatively correlated with rainfall is an indicator of rainwater preference when it is available. Furthermore, our findings show that standpipes in close proximity to alternative water sources such as streams and hand-dug wells suffer further reductions in water consumption. Qualitative data suggest that consumer demand in the study towns appears to be driven more by water quantity, accessibility, and perceived aesthetic water quality, as compared to microbiological water quality or price. In settings with chronic under-utilization of improved water sources, increasing water demand through household connections, improving water quality with respect to taste and appropriateness for laundry, and educating residents about health benefits of using piped water should be prioritized. Continued consumer demand and sufficient revenue generation are important attributes of a water service that ensure its function over time. Our findings suggest that analyzing water consumption of existing metered PWSs in combination with qualitative approaches may enable more efficient planning of community-based water supplies and support sustainable development.
Project description:Chlorination of shallow tubewell water is challenging due to various iron concentrations. A mixed-method, small-scale before-and-after field trial assessed the accuracy and consistency of an automated chlorinator, Zimba, in Rohingya camp housing, Cox's Bazar. From August-September 2018, two shallow tubewells (iron concentration = 6.5 mg/L and 1.5 mg/L) were selected and 20 households were randomly enrolled to participate in household surveys and water testing. The field-team tested pre-and post-treated tubewell and household stored water for iron, free and total chlorine, and <i>E. coli.</i> A sub-set of households (<i>n</i> = 10) also received safe storage containers (5 L jerry cans). Overall mean iron concentrations were 5.8 mg/L in Zimba water, 1.9 mg/L in household storage containers, and 2.8 mg/L in the project-provided safe storage containers. At baseline, 0% samples at source and 60% samples stored in household vessels were contaminated with <i>E. coli</i> (mean log<sub>10</sub> = 0.62 MPN/100 mL). After treatment, all water samples collected from source and project-provided safe storage containers were free from <i>E. coli</i>, but 41% of post-treated water stored in the household was contaminated with <i>E. coli</i>. <i>E. coli</i> concentrations were significantly lower in the project-provided safe storage containers (log<sub>10</sub> mean difference = 0.92 MPN, 95% CI = 0.59-1.14) compared with baseline and post-treated water stored in household vessels (difference = 0.57 MPN, 95% CI = 0.32-0.83). Zimba is a potential water treatment technology for groundwater extracted through tubewells with different iron concentrations in humanitarian settings.
Project description:Establishing and maintaining public water services in fragile states is a significant development challenge. In anticipation of water infrastructure investments, this study compares drinking water sources and quality between Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and Monrovia, Liberia, two cities recovering from political and economic instability. In both cities, access to piped water is low, and residents rely on a range of other private and public water sources. In Port Harcourt, geographic points for sampling were randomly selected and stratified by population density, whereas in Monrovia, locations for sampling were selected from a current inventory of public water sources. In Port Harcourt, the sampling frame demonstrated extensive reliance on private boreholes and a preference, in both planned and unplanned settlements, for drinking bottled and sachet water. In Monrovia, sample collection focused on public sources (predominantly shallow dug wells). In Port Harcourt, fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) were detected in 25% of sources (N = 566), though concentrations were low. In Monrovia, 57% of sources contained FIB and 22% of sources had nitrate levels that exceeded standards (N = 204). In Monrovia, the convenience of piped water may promote acceptance of the associated water tariffs. However, in Port Harcourt, the high prevalence of self-supply and bottled and sachet drinking water suggests that the consumer's willingness to pay for ongoing municipal water supply improvements may be determined by service reliability and perceptions of water quality.
Project description:The lack of access to safe drinking water causes important health problems, mainly in developing countries. In the West African country Guinea-Bissau, waterborne diseases are recognised by WHO as major infectious diseases. This study analysed the microbiological and physicochemical parameters of drinking water in the capital Bissau and its surroundings. Twenty-two sites belonging to different water sources (piped water, tubewells and shallow wells) were surveyed twice a day for three weeks, in both dry and wet seasons. Most of the microbiological parameters were out of the acceptable ranges in all types of water and both seasons and tended to worsen in the wet season. Moreover, in Bissau, the levels of faecal contamination in piped water increased from the holes to the consumer (tap/fountain). Several physicochemical variables showed values out of the internationally accepted ranges. Both well sources showed low-pH water (4.87-5.59), with high nitrite and iron levels in the wet season and high hexavalent chromium concentration in the dry season. The residual chlorine never reached the minimum recommended level in any of the water sources or seasons, suggesting a high risk of contamination. Results reveal a lack of quality in the three water sources analysed, coherent with the high number of diarrheal cases in the country. There is an urgent need to improve sanitarian conditions to reduce the disease burden caused by these waterborne illnesses.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In Bangladesh, 20 million people are at the risk of developing arsenicosis because of excessive arsenic intake. Despite increased awareness, many of the implemented arsenic-safe water options are not being sufficiently used by the population. This study investigated the role of social-cognitive factors in explaining the habitual use of arsenic-safe water options.<h4>Methods</h4>Eight hundred seventy-two randomly selected households in six arsenic-affected districts of rural Bangladesh, which had access to an arsenic-safe water option, were interviewed using structured face-to-face interviews in November 2009. Habitual use of arsenic-safe water options, severity, vulnerability, affective and instrumental attitudes, injunctive and descriptive norms, self-efficacy, and coping planning were measured. The data were analyzed using multiple linear regressions.<h4>Results</h4>Linear regression revealed that self-efficacy (B = 0.42, SE = .03, p < .001), the instrumental attitude towards the safe water option (B = 0.24, SE = .04, p < .001), the affective attitude towards contaminated tube wells (B = -0.04, SE = .02, p = .024), vulnerability (B = -0.20, SE = .02, p < .001), as well as injunctive (B = 0.08, SE = 0.04, p = .049) and descriptive norms (B = 0.34, SE = .03, p < .001) primarily explained the habitual use of arsenic-safe water options (R2 = 0.688). This model proved highly generalizable to all seven arsenic-safe water options investigated, even though habitual use of single options were predicted on the basis of parameters estimated without these options.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This general model for the habitual use of arsenic-safe water options may prove useful to predict other water consumption habits. Behavior-change interventions are derived from the model to promote the habitual use of arsenic-safe water options.
Project description:Shallow tubewells are the primary drinking water source for most rural Bangladeshis. Fecal contamination has been detected in tubewells, at low concentrations at the source and at higher levels at the point of use. We conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess whether improving the microbiological quality of tubewell drinking water by household water treatment and safe storage would reduce diarrhea in children <2 years in rural Bangladesh.We randomly assigned 1800 households with a child aged 6-18 months (index child) into one of three arms: chlorine plus safe storage, safe storage and control. We followed households with monthly visits for one year to promote the interventions, track their uptake, test participants' source and stored water for fecal contamination, and record caregiver-reported child diarrhea prevalence (primary outcome). To assess reporting bias, we also collected data on health outcomes that are not expected to be impacted by our interventions.Both interventions had high uptake. Safe storage, alone or combined with chlorination, reduced heavy contamination of stored water. Compared to controls, diarrhea in index children was reduced by 36% in the chlorine plus safe storage arm (prevalence ratio, PR = 0.64, 0.55-0.73) and 31% in the safe storage arm (PR = 0.69, 0.60-0.80), with no difference between the two intervention arms. One limitation of the study was the non-blinded design with self-reported outcomes. However, the prevalence of health outcomes not expected to be impacted by water interventions did not differ between study arms, suggesting minimal reporting bias.Safe storage significantly improved drinking water quality at the point of use and reduced child diarrhea in rural Bangladesh. There was no added benefit from combining safe storage with chlorination. Efforts should be undertaken to implement and evaluate long-term efforts for safe water storage in Bangladesh.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01350063.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The problem of intermittent piped water supplies that exists in low- and middle-income countries is particularly severe in the slums of sub-Saharan Africa. However, little is known about whether there is deterioration of the microbiological quality of the intermittent piped water supply at a household level and whether it is a factor in reducing or increasing the occurrence of acute diarrhea among under-five children in slums of Addis Ababa. This study aimed to determine the association of intermittent piped water supplies and point-of-use (POU) contamination of household stored water by Escherichia coli (E. coli) with acute diarrhea among under-five children in slums of Addis Ababa.<h4>Methods</h4>A community-based matched case-control study was conducted from November to December, 2014. Cases were defined as under-five children with acute diarrhea during the two weeks before the survey. Controls were matched by age and neighborhood with cases by individual matching. Data were collected using a pre-tested structured questionnaire and E. coli analysis of water from piped water supplies and household stored water. A five-tube method of Most Probable Number (MPN)/100 ml standard procedure was used for E. coli analysis. Multivariable conditional logistic regression with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used for data analysis by controlling potential confounding effects of selected socio-demographic characteristics.<h4>Main findings</h4>During the two weeks before the survey, 87.9% of case households and 51.0% of control households had an intermittent piped water supply for an average of 4.3 days and 3.9 days, respectively. POU contamination of household stored water by E. coli was found in 83.3% of the case households, and 52.1% of the control households. In a fully adjusted model, a periodically intermittent piped water supply (adjusted matched odds ratio (adjusted mOR) = 4.8; 95% CI: 1.3-17.8), POU water contamination in household stored water by E. coli (adjusted mOR = 3.3; 95% CI: 1.1-10.1), water retrieved from water storage containers using handle-less vessels (adjusted mOR = 16.3; 95% CI: 4.4-60.1), and water retrieved by interchangeably using vessels both with and without handle (adjusted mOR = 5.4; 95% CI: 1.1-29.1) were independently associated with acute diarrhea.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We conclude that provision of continuously available piped water supplies and education of caregivers about proper water retrieval methods of household stored water can effectively reduce POU contamination of water at the household level and thereby reduce acute diarrhea among under-five children in slums of Addis Ababa. Promotion of household water treatment is also highly encouraged until the City's water authority is able to deliver continuously available piped water supplies.
Project description:The objective of this study was to design and evaluate a household-level arsenic education and well water arsenic testing intervention to increase arsenic awareness in Bangladesh. The authors randomly selected 1,000 study respondents located in 20 villages in Singair, Bangladesh. The main outcome was the change in knowledge of arsenic from baseline to follow-up 4 to 6 months after the household received the intervention. This was assessed through a pre- and postintervention quiz concerning knowledge of arsenic. Respondents were between 18 and 102 years of age, with an average age of 37 years; 99.9% were female. The knowledge of arsenic quiz scores for study participants were significantly higher at follow-up compared with baseline. The intervention was effective in increasing awareness of the safe uses of arsenic-contaminated water and dispelling the misconception that boiling water removes arsenic. At follow-up, nearly all respondents were able to correctly identify the meaning of a red (contaminated) and green (arsenic safe) well relative to arsenic (99%). The educational program also significantly increased the proportion of respondents who were able to correctly identify the health implications of arsenic exposure. However, the intervention was not effective in dispelling the misconceptions in the population that arsenicosis is contagious and that illnesses such as cholera, diarrhea, and vomiting could be caused by arsenic. Further research is needed to develop effective communication strategies to dispel these misconceptions. This study demonstrates that a household-level arsenic educational program can be used to significantly increase arsenic awareness in Bangladesh.
Project description:Bladder cancer mortality rates have been elevated in northern New England for at least five decades. Incidence rates in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are about 20% higher than the United States overall. We explored reasons for this excess, focusing on arsenic in drinking water from private wells, which are particularly prevalent in the region.In a population-based case-control study in these three states, 1213 bladder cancer case patients and 1418 control subjects provided information on suspected risk factors. Log transformed arsenic concentrations were estimated by linear regression based on measurements in water samples from current and past homes. All statistical tests were two-sided.Bladder cancer risk increased with increasing water intake (Ptrend = .003). This trend was statistically significant among participants with a history of private well use (Ptrend = .01). Among private well users, this trend was apparent if well water was derived exclusively from shallow dug wells (which are vulnerable to contamination from manmade sources, Ptrend = .002) but not if well water was supplied only by deeper drilled wells (Ptrend = .48). If dug wells were used pre-1960, when arsenical pesticides were widely used in the region, heavier water consumers (>2.2?L/day) had double the risk of light users (<1.1?L/day, Ptrend = .01). Among all participants, cumulative arsenic exposure from all water sources, lagged 40 years, yielded a positive risk gradient (Ptrend = .004); among the highest-exposed participants (97.5th percentile), risk was twice that of the lowest-exposure quartile (odds ratio = 2.24, 95% confidence interval = 1.29 to 3.89).Our findings support an association between low-to-moderate levels of arsenic in drinking water and bladder cancer risk in New England. In addition, historical consumption of water from private wells, particularly dug wells in an era when arsenical pesticides were widely used, was associated with increased bladder cancer risk and may have contributed to the New England excess.
Project description:Safe, reliable, and equitable water access is critical to human health and livelihoods. In the United States, an estimated 471,000 households or 1.1 million individuals lack a piped water connection and 73% of households are located in cities, close to networked supply. In this study, we undertake a nationwide analysis of urban water access in the United States, with the aim of explaining the drivers of infrastructural inequality in the 50 largest metropolitan areas. Drawing on statistical analysis and regression modeling of census microdata at the household scale, our analysis reveals spatial and sociodemographic patterns of racialized, class-based, and housing disparities that characterize plumbing poverty. Among unplumbed households, we show that households headed by people of color are almost 35% more likely to lack piped water as compared to white, non-Hispanic households. Precarious housing conditions are an equally strong predictor: Renter-occupied households in the 50 largest US metros were 1.61 times more likely than owner-occupied households to lack piped water. We argue that insecure domestic water access in the United States should be understood as a housing issue that reflects structural inequalities of race and class, particularly in cities with widening wealth gaps. The article concludes with a call for research and action at the intersection of water provision, housing, and social inequality-a paradigm we call the housing-water nexus.