Challenges of access to water and sanitation for sustaining health: A case study from South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India

Meena Sehgal, Sumit Kumar Gautam, Priyanka Bajaj, Mayukhmala Guha, Suneel Pandey


The present study attempts to determine the access to clean water and sanitation essential for sustaining health. It attempts to identify socio-economic factors which influence access to clean water within the community. The absence of water-on- premises in a water abundant area of West Bengal, India showcases some of the challenges in progressing on Sustainable Development Goal-3.

Eight villages were included in the study and a total of 597 households were enrolled for the study from 8000 households in the villages. The study includes descriptive analysis of water access and sanitation parameters, and regression analysis of socio-economic determinants of exposure. The results reveal that nearly half of the respondents belonged to Above Poverty Line (APL) while 42.71% were under Below Poverty Line (BPL). Although majority of the household had access to an improved source of water for drinking,  77.89 % of the households were using pond water for bathing, washing clothes, utensils and toilet and nearly 37% of households did not have any toilet facility. Regression analysis of use of pond water indicates that people living in mud huts (kutcha houses) and from religious minority groups were more likely to use ponds for washing utensils, clothes, bathing and defecated in open fields and use unimproved sources for drinking water. 

The study asserts the need to develop community level preventive measures such as access to clean water for personal and domestic use and sanitation facilities to protect health. 

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Copyright (c) 2017 Meena Sehgal, Sumit Kumar Gautam, Priyanka Bajaj, Mayukhmala Guha, Suneel Pandey

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Environmental Management and Sustainable Development  ISSN 2164-7682

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