Knowledge Note

"Drinking water quality affects children’s health and that improvement in drinking water quality should be a focus of policy, not just the quantity of water provided."

Safe drinking water is essential for healthy human development and survival, but millions of poor people in low-income countries only have access to contaminated drinking water. For children, the problem is particularly dangerous and deadly, with diarrheal diseases like typhoid and cholera responsible for approximately 800,000 child deaths each year.

The latest Evidence to Policy note reports findings from a SIEF-supported double-blind randomized control trial of a novel water treatment technology that automatically chlorinated water at public taps and shared hand pumps. The evaluation found that the chlorination method significantly improved water quality and reduced child diarrhea, providing strong evidence that drinking water quality affects children’s health and that improvements in drinking water quality should also be a focus of policy, not just the quantity of water provided.