Awareness of Water Pollution as a Problem and the Decision to Treat Drinking Water among Rural African Households with Unclean Drinking Water: South Africa 2004-06

John H. Romani, University of Michigan
Marie Wentzel, Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC)
Heston Phillips, Statistics South Africa

Factors related to (1) awareness of water pollution as a problem and (2) actions to treat drinking water are examined using data from 11,270 rural African households in South Africa which did not have clean drinking water. Data are from national representative surveys conducted 2004-2006. Literature has suggested that household social status is important to both awareness of water pollution and whether the household treats drinking water. Logistic regression analysis finds that the worse the quality of drinking water, the more likely the household is to perceive water pollution as a problem, but SES does not matter for this perception. In treating water, water quality and whether the household perceives water pollution as a problem were important, along with education and household expenditures. Thus households do not need to be well-educated to perceive water pollution as a problem, but education is important in deciding to treat polluted drinking water.

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Presented in Session 87: Population and Environmental Impact in Africa