Factors influencing household use of improved sources of drinking water in Kenya
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The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of demographic, socio-economic, socio-cultural and geographic factors on the use of improved and unimproved sources of drinking water among Kenyan households. Data collection from a nationally representative sample of 9057 households was carried out using a household questionnaire. The households were selected from the National Sample Survey and Evaluation Programme (NASSEP IV) that was developed on the flat form of a two stage design. These were the households who were using various sources of drinking water categories as improved and unimproved at the time of the 2008-2009 Kenya Demographic and Health survey. Data from this survey was used because it provides nationally representative information on the household use of drinking water from improved and unimproved sources in Kenya. The techniques of data analysis and presentation that were employed in this study included the cross-tabulation tables and the chi square test together with the multiple logistic regression analyses. Although majority of the Kenyan households 64.3 per cent use improved sources of drinking water a larger proportion 35.7 per cent of the households are still using unimproved sources of drinking water. The results shows that there was a statistically significant association between the sex and age of the household head, size of household, level of education of household head, household income, ethnicity, time taken to sources of drinking water by household members, location of household in urban and rural areas and the region of location of households and the use of improved and unimproved sources of drinking water in Kenya. On the other hand, results of the logistic regression analysis results the results of the logistic analysis indicate that male headed households and households comprising of 4 members were statistically significantly less likely to use improved over unimproved sources of drinking water. Formal education to primary and secondary and above level of household heads, middle and higher household income together with households belonging to Somali, Kalenjin, Kamba, Kikuyu, Luhya, Mijikenda/Swahili, Meru/Embu and 'other ethnic groups were found to a statistically significant predictors of the use of improved over unimproved sources of drinking water. In addition, shorter travel time to sources of drinking water of 30 minutes or less, location of household in urban areas and location of household in in Nairobi, Central, Coast, Eastern, Nyanza, Western and North Eastern compared to those located in Rift Valley region were also found to be statistically significant predictors of household use of improved over unimproved sources of drinking water. The main conclusion that was derived from the results of this study was that sex of household head and the size of household have a reverse relationship with the use of improved sources of drinking water among households in Kenya. In addition, the level of formal education of household head, household income, ethnic affiliation, location of household in urban and rural areas and region of location of a household has a direct effect on the use of improved sources of drinking water. The major policy implications of the findings of this study is that water sector reforms and programme implementation in Kenya should take into account demographiC, socio-economic, socio-cultural and geographic in designing appropriate strategies to encourage the use of improved over unimproved sources of drinking water in Kenya. This will facilitate government's efforts to speed the pace of achieving the Millennium Development Goal target 7c on reducing by half by 2015 the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water in Kenya. Moreover, a reduction of water borne diseases through use of improved sources of drinking water will ensure a healthy Population for sustainable development in the country.