Natural Disaster and Households’ Access to Drinking Water: Evidence from Nepal’s Earthquake

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3126/ejon.v45i1-2.58535

Keywords:

Natural disasters, Earthquake, Difference in difference, Drinking water, Access

Abstract

Natural disasters like landslides, droughts, floods, and earthquakes have consistently shown adverse effects on households’ access to safe and affordable drinking water. This study examines the impact of natural disaster on household access to drinking water taking a case of Nepal’s 2015 Earthquake. Drawing on data from four rounds of the Annual Household Survey (AHS) spanning from 2013/14 to 2016/17, the study employs a difference-in-difference research design to examine how households were impacted in accessing drinking water in the earthquake affected districts of Nepal. The results reveal that households in earthquake affected regions experience a decline in the use of piped drinking water by six-percentage-points compared to other sources of water notably wells, spring and rivers. Concurrently, there was a corresponding increase in the use of open water sources, particularly rivers and springs, for drinking among these households. These findings underscore that during disaster, sources like rivers and spring water can serve as essential alternatives for households, especially in the Hill and Mountain regions of Nepal, where other drinking water alternatives are less feasible. However, it is an important to note that these open water sources are often deemed unsafe for consumption and carry potential health risks. In light of these insights, this study emphasizes the necessity for disaster preparedness plans to prioritize establishing mechanisms that guarantee the safety of such open water sources for drinking during natural disaster and extreme events in the future.

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Published

2022-06-30

How to Cite

Adhikari, N. (2022). Natural Disaster and Households’ Access to Drinking Water: Evidence from Nepal’s Earthquake. Economic Journal of Nepal, 45(1-2), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.3126/ejon.v45i1-2.58535

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Articles