Assessing the Impact of Improved Water Supply on Health Outcomes in Rural Tanzania


  • Kenneth Mdadila University of Dar es Salaam



This paper, using quasi-experimental methods, assesses the impact of access to water from improved sources on health outcomes of rural households in Tanzania. The study employs Propensity Score Matching techniques in estimating the impact. The outcome variable of interest is diarrhoea incidence among children and households, respectively, in rural Tanzania. Results show that health impact due to improved access to water is notable among all household members and limited among children under five years. Access to water from improved sources reduces diarrhoea incidence by 10.2% and 2.6% among rural
households and children, respectively, in the treatment communities. The results further show that sanitation and hygiene promotion interventions are not integrated with the provision of water from improved sources. The mean difference between treatment and control communities on sanitation (usage and ownership of latrine) and hygiene (handwashing behaviours) are not statistically significant up to 10 percent. The study draws the following policy implications: increasing access of water from improved sources should be an integrated process packaged with sanitation and hygiene interventions since the absence of integration reduces health returns of investing in water nfrastructure; deliberate interventions are needed to enhance mothers’ knowledge about hygiene practises for better outcomes of child health.


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Author Biography

Kenneth Mdadila, University of Dar es Salaam

Department of Economics University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania




How to Cite

Mdadila, M. (2017). Assessing the Impact of Improved Water Supply on Health Outcomes in Rural Tanzania. Tanzanian Economic Review, 7(1-2), 1–18.