Representative Image [Reuters]
Representative Image [Reuters]

Fetching water from far away areas increases risk of death: Study

ANI | Updated: Sep 04, 2019 15:23 IST

New Delhi [India], Sep 4 (ANI): Fetching water from the far-off areas can increase the risk of death and may also lead to several other outcomes, researchers have claimed.
The study was conducted in the University of East Anglia, the United Kingdom, which involved as many as 2.7 million people from across 41 nations, used the data from the Unicef multiple indicator cluster survey.
The researchers - Jo-Anne L Geere and Paul R Hunter, have further claimed that they are the first ones to analyse the 'relationships between water carriage, access to clean drinking water, sanitation and maternal and child health.'
According to the study, the children of those adults bringing water from distant areas are at a greater risk of death. Elaborating this, the researchers pointed that these children were more likely to be left alone at home for longer durations during which, they could suffer from an accidental injury and would also be exposed to lesser parental care.
The second major disadvantage is associated with the children who fetch water themselves are at higher risk of falling prey to diarrhea.
"The increased odds (10-13 per cent) of children under five having diarrhea in households where children fetch water compared to households that do not, could simply reflect differing water quality from different source types as reported by Esrey (1996), and that children fetching water away from their home are more likely to be using an unimproved source, and are therefore at more risk of diarrheal disease through consumption of contaminated drinking water," the researchers wrote.
The findings of the study suggested that health benefits were associated with a high percentage of households within a geographic area using improved sanitation.
"More than 60 per cent usage is associated with reduced diarrhea and acute undernutrition, and more than 80 per cent usage is associated with the reduction of the more severe outcomes of childhood death and stunting."
It also cited Indian experiences as a case in point and stated "Clasen et al (2014) found that a rural sanitation programme in India, which resulted in a mean 63 per cent of households in the intervention villages having a latrine, had only 11 of 50 intervention villages, with less than 50 per cent functional latrine coverage at follow up." (ANI)