Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Access to improved water and sanitation varies widely within sub-Saharan Africa

Date:
April 8, 2014
Source:
PLOS
Summary:
Access to improved drinking water and sanitation is highly variable within individual countries in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a new study. Researchers have identified marked geographic inequalities, estimating that coverage of improved drinking water supply varied from as low as 3.2% in some districts of Somalia to as high as 99.0% in urban populations in Namibia, while access to improved sanitation ranged from 0.2% in parts of Chad to close to 100% in Gambia.

Access to improved drinking water and sanitation is highly variable within individual countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine. Dr Rachel Pullan and colleagues, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, identified marked geographic inequalities, estimating that coverage of improved drinking water supply varied from as low as 3.2% in some districts of Somalia to as high as 99.0% in urban populations in Namibia, while access to improved sanitation ranged from 0.2% in parts of Chad to close to 100% in Gambia.

To reach these estimates, the researchers extracted data on reported household use of an improved drinking water supply (for example, a piped water supply), improved sanitation facilities (for example, a pit latrine with washable slab), and open defecation from 138 national household surveys undertaken between 1991 and 2012 in 41 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Using statistical models they estimate that rural households in the districts with the lowest levels of access within a country were 1.5-8 times less likely to use improved drinking water, 2-18 times less likely to use improved sanitation, and 2-80 times more likely to defecate in the open, than rural households in districts with the best coverage.

The findings do not include estimates from Eritrea and Botswana and are limited by the accuracy of the data on water supplies and sanitation provided by household surveys.

The authors say: "Here, we have revealed substantial levels of inequality in contemporary access to both improved drinking-water supplies and sanitation and open defecation within countries, and have shown how mapping the geographical distribution of WSS at policy relevant scales can help to make visible those deprived subgroups that were previously hidden within national statistics." They note that strategies to target the areas with the lowest access are essential.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by PLOS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rachel L. Pullan, Matthew C. Freeman, Peter W. Gething, Simon J. Brooker. Geographical Inequalities in Use of Improved Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation across Sub-Saharan Africa: Mapping and Spatial Analysis of Cross-sectional Survey Data. PLoS Medicine, 2014; 11 (4): e1001626 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001626

Cite This Page:

PLOS. "Access to improved water and sanitation varies widely within sub-Saharan Africa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408213536.htm>.
PLOS. (2014, April 8). Access to improved water and sanitation varies widely within sub-Saharan Africa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408213536.htm
PLOS. "Access to improved water and sanitation varies widely within sub-Saharan Africa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140408213536.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

White Rhino's Death In Kenya Means Just 6 Are Left

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Suni, a rare northern white rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, died Friday. This, as many media have pointed out, leaves people fearing extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

Beijing Marathon Runners Brave Hazardous Air Pollution

AFP (Oct. 19, 2014) Tens of thousands of runners battled thick smog at the Beijing Marathon on Sunday, with some donning masks as the levels of PM2.5 small pollutant particles soared to 16 times the maximum recommended level. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Sweden Hunts For Sub, "Cold War" Comparisons Flourish

As Sweden Hunts For Sub, "Cold War" Comparisons Flourish

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) With Sweden on the look-out for a suspected Russian sub, a lot of people are talking about the Cold War, but is it an apt comparison? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins