Household Water Supply Choice and Time Allocated to Water Collection

Evidence from Madagascar

Published In: Journal of Development Studies, v. 47, no. 12, Dec. 2011, p. 1826-1850

Posted on RAND.org on December 01, 2011

by Christopher Boone, Peter Glick, David E. Sahn

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This article uses household survey data from Madagascar to examine water supply choice and time spent in water collection. We find that the choice of water source is strongly influenced by a number of household characteristics, as well as distance to sources. There are also strong substitution effects across sources. For example, increasing the distance to a public tap by 1 km increases the probability of using a well by 43 per cent in urban areas. With regards to time spent gathering water, we focus on the effects of gender, age, and distance to water. Women and girls spend the most time gathering water. The response to reducing distance to water sources differs in rural and urban areas, as well as by gender and age of household members. Investments to reduce to the distance to water sources will have larger impacts on adults than children, and on men than women.

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