Awareness of Water Pollution as a Problem and the Decision to Treat Drinking Water among Rural African Households with Unclean Drinking Water: South Africa 2004-2005

Barbara A. Anderson, University of Michigan

The decision to treat water and choice of chemical treatment are examined for rural African households in South Africa with an unclean drinking water source. 19% of these households ever treat their water. More educated households, those with less clean water, and that perceive water pollution as a problem more likely treat their water. Boiling and chemicals are the most common treatment methods. Boiling decreases water volume and requires fuel. Chemicals cost money. More educated households, those with less clean water, with higher overall expenditures and with a more distant water source are more likely to chemically treat their water. Provision of free or subsidized treatment chemicals would likely lead to a much higher percent of households treating their drinking water. It is expected that the presence of a 1-2 year old child will increase the chance the household treats its water.

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Presented in Poster Session 1