A pragmatic approach of assessing access to an improved drinking-water source: empirical evidence from a Tanzanian household survey

Ayoub S. Ayoub, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The United Nations Declaration of 2000 adopted eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) designed to forge a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets. Among the targets of the MDGs is to halve by 2015 (from 1990 levels) the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation (MDG 7c). However, one indicator used to assess whether the goals of MDG 7c have been met was not defined succinctly. The current indicator, defines access to safe water as 'the availability of at least 20 litres per person per day from a source within one kilometre of the user’s dwelling.' Using cross-sectional household-level data from Tanzania, this study presents a range of critiques in using the indicator and suggests alternatives for consideration. In addition, this study presents an analysis of socio-economic and demographic determinants on accessing improved drinking-water sources.

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Presented in Session 26: Population, food production, and water resources