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Type: Journal article
Title: Households with unimproved water sources in Ethiopia: spatial variation and point-of-use treatment based on 2016 Demographic and Health Survey
Author: Damtew, Y.T.
Geremew, A.
Citation: Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, 2020; 25(1):81-1-81-11
Publisher: BioMed Central (Part of Springer Nature)
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1342-078X
Statement of
Yohannes Tefera Damtew and Abraham Geremew
Abstract: Background: Improved water sources are not equally available in all geographical regions. Populations dependent on unsafe water sources are recommended to treat their water at point-of-use using adequate methods to reduce associated health problems. In Ethiopia, the spatial distribution of households using unimproved water sources have been incomplete or ignored in most of the studies. Moreover, evidence on the point-of-use water treatment practice of households dependent on such water sources is scarce. Therefore, the current study is intended to analyze the spatial distribution of unimproved water sources by wealth quintiles at country level and point-of-use treatment (POU) practices using nationally representative data. Method: The data of 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) conducted on 16650 households from 643 clusters were used for the analysis. For spatial analysis, the raw and spatially smoothed coverage data was joined to the geographic coordinates based on EDHS cluster identification code. Global spatial autocorrelation was performed to analyze whether the pattern of unimproved water coverage is clustered, dispersed, or random across the study areas. Once a positive global autocorrelation was confirmed, a local spatial autocorrelation analysis was applied to detect local clusters. The POU water treatment is analyzed based on reported use of either boiling, chlorine (bleach), filtration, or solar disinfection (SODIS). Results: There were 5005 households using unimproved water sources for drinking purposes. Spatial variation of unimproved water coverage was observed with high coverage observed at Amhara, Afar, Southern Nations Nationalities and People and Somalia regions. Disparity in unimproved water coverage between wealth quintiles was also observed. The reported point-of-use water treatment practice among these households is only 6.24%. The odds of POU water treatment among household heads with higher education status is 2.5 times higher (95% CI = 1.43-4.36) compared to those who did not attend education. Conclusion: An apparent clustering trend with high unimproved water coverage was observed between regions and among wealth quintiles hence indicates priority areas for future resource allocation and the need for regional and national policies to address the issue. Promoting households to treat water prior to drinking is essential to reduce health problems.
Keywords: Unimproved water; Spatial variation; Local clusters; Point-of-use treatment
Description: Published online: 07 December 2020
Rights: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
DOI: 10.1186/s12199-020-00921-1
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