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Predicting quality and quantity of water used by urban households based on tap water service
Aurelie Jeandron | Oliver Cumming | Lumami Kapepula | Simon Cousens
Date of Publication:
December 16, 2019
npj Clean Water
Despite significant progress in improving access to safe water globally, inadequate access remains a major public health concern in low- and middle-income countries. We collected data on the bacterial quality of stored drinking water and the quantity of water used domestically from 416 households in Uvira, Democratic Republic of the Congo. An indicator of tap water availability was constructed using invoices from 3,685 georeferenced piped water connections. We examined how well this indicator predicts the probability that a household’s stored drinking water is contaminated with Escherichia coli, and the total amount of water used at home daily, accounting for distance from alternative surface water sources. Probability of drinking water contamination is predicted with good discrimination overall, and very good discrimination for poorer households. More than 80% of the households are predicted to store contaminated drinking water in areas closest to the rivers and with the worst tap water service, where river water is also the most likely reported source of drinking water. A model including household composition predicts nearly two-thirds of the variability in the reported quantity of water used daily at home. Households located near surface water and with a poor tap water service indicator are more likely to use water directly at the source. Our results provide valuable information that supports an ongoing large-scale investment in water supply infrastructure in Uvira designed to reduce the high burden of cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases. This approach may be useful in other urban settings with limited water supply access.
Cholera prevention and control in refugee settings: Successes and continued challenges
Kerry Shannon | Marisa Hast | Andrew S. Azman | Dominique Legros | Heather McKay | Justin Lessler
Date of Publication:
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Cholera has long been viewed as a serious threat for refugee populations. In the 1980s and 90s, refugee camps proliferated in Africa and Asia as a result of large civil wars and environmental disasters. These camps experienced large-scale cholera outbreaks with regularity because of overcrowding, scarce clean water, and poor sanitation and hygiene practices. Death rates were often high because of preexisting malnutrition, comorbidities, and limited access to medical care. Mobilization around these issues was greatly accelerated in 1994, when a particularly massive outbreak occurred among Rwandan refugees in the Lake Kivu region of Zaire (present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo), and approximately 42,000 people died. In response to this unprecedented tragedy, the humanitarian community developed and adopted the Sphere standards for the minimum acceptable living conditions and availability of health services in refugee camps and other humanitarian responses. Although refugee camps continue to experience many vulnerabilities, the increased focus on improved camp coordination, preparedness, timely multisectoral response, and adherence to minimum standards has resulted in a notable decrease in the number and size of camp-based cholera outbreaks and associated mortality.