STOTEN - Sustainability assessment of arsenic mitigation

Screenshot 2018-11-23 23.14.27.png
Screenshot 2018-11-23 23.14.27.png

STOTEN - Sustainability assessment of arsenic mitigation

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In this paper we show how the process analysis method (PAM) can be applied to assess the sustainability of options to mitigate arsenic in drinking water in rural India. Stakeholder perspectives, gathered from a fieldwork survey of 933 households in West Bengal in 2012 played a significant role in this assessment. This research found that the ‘most important’ issues as specified by the technology users are cost, trust, distance from their home to the clean water source (an indicator of convenience), and understanding the health effects of arsenic. We show that utilisation of a technology is related to levels of trust and confidence in a community, making use of a composite trust–confidence indicator. Measures to improve trust between community and organisers of mitigation projects, and to raise confidence in technology and also in fair costing, would help to promote successful deployment of appropriate technology. Attitudes to cost revealed in the surveys are related to the low value placed on arsenic-free water, as also found by other investigators, consistent with a lack of public awareness about the arsenic problem. It is suggested that increased awareness might change attitudes to arsenic-rich waste and its disposal protocols. This waste is often currently discarded in an uncontrolled manner in the local environment, giving rise to the possibility of point-source recontamination.

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