Access to Safe Drinking Water: Effects on Health and Time Management in Andhra Pradesh, India

Garimella Rama Rao, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Garimella Rohini Devi, SK Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce
M.N.V. Prasad, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

The paper focuses on the significant role played by access to safe drinking water on human health as well as on time management. The study is based on a comparison of salient characteristics of villages covered by the Sri Sathya Sai Water Supply Project (in Anantapur district) with those of adjacent, similar villages not covered by the scheme. It was found that access to safe drinking water had resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence rates of waterborne diseases as well as ailments related to fluoride ingestion. Moreover, the women in the household who traditionally play the major role in collection and storage of water needed for household requirements had to spend less time and effort for it. As a consequence, they had more time to devote to household work and teaching their children. There was a significant improvement in their health and reduction in quarrels over water.

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Presented in Session 58: Population, Environment, and Health