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A community-based approach to promote household water treatment in Rwanda

A community-based approach to promote household water treatment in Rwanda

Publication Year:
Chankova, Slavea; Hatt, Laurel; Musange, Sabine
Affiliated Orgs.:
International Health Division Abt Associates Inc. USA
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Community-based approach to promote household water treatment and storage in rural Cambodia.
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Resource Information


Treatment of drinking water at the household level is one of the most effective preventive interventions against diarrhea, a leading cause of illness and death among children in developing countries. A pilot project in two districts in Rwanda aimed to increase use of Sûr’Eau, a chlorine solution for drinking water treatment, through a partnership between community-based health insurance schemes and community health workers who promoted and distributed the product. Evaluation of the pilot, drawing on a difference-in-differences design and data from pre- and post-pilot household surveys of 4,780 households, showed that after 18 months of pilot implementation, knowledge and use of the product increased significantly in two pilot districts, but remained unchanged in a control district. The pilot was associated with a 40–42 percentage point increase in ever use, and 8–9 percentage points increase in use of Sûr’Eau at time of the survey (self-reported measures). Our data suggest that exposure to inter-personal communication on Sûr’Eau and hearing about the product at community meetings and health centers were associated with an increase in use.

Resource Type

Journal Article

Publication Year



Chankova, Slavea; Hatt, Laurel; Musange, Sabine



Organizational Affiliation

International Health Division Abt Associates Inc. USA

Relevant Country


Specific Solutions


University Affiliation

National University of Rwanda

Business Connect Takeaways

Community-based approaches can be effective in promoting household water treatment and improving access to safe drinking water in low-resource settings.
Involving community health workers and leveraging existing community structures, such as health insurance schemes and monthly community gatherings, can help to increase awareness and use of water treatment products.
Communication and education are key components of successful interventions, and regular messaging on safe water, hand-washing, hygiene, and sanitation can significantly increase knowledge and behavior change

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