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Access to Safe Water
Complete these exercises with information from the Case Study.

Case Study 1 Exercises with Answers

1. What are some of the health problems shared by Miguel's village and the one he is visiting? Which of these problems might be related to the lack of safe water? [In both villages, people suffer from diarrhea, scabies, and respiratory infections. All are water related to some degree, but especially diarrhea.]

2. How is it that people die of diarrhea? [They become dehydrated.]

3. In Miguel's village, how did the sources of water become contaminated?[Human and animal waste washed from the ground into the sources of water.] How did this contamination affect Miguel's family?[His daughter died from diarrhea caused by the polluted water.]

4. How do higher well walls and covers help to protect the water? [They keep pollutants from washing into the water.]

5. What training did the villagers receive as part of their water project? [They learned how to dig and build the wells so that the water would not become contaminated; how to install, operate, maintain, and repair hand pumps; how to store water so that it does not become contaminated; how to use safe water for hygiene and food preparation to avoid ingesting bacteria.]

6. Why didn't the people from the water project dig the wells and install the handpumps themselves?[If the project people had done all of the work, the people in the village would not have learned how to do the work themselves and would have had to rely on outside help if the equipment broke down or if they decided they wanted to dig another well. This way the villagers have control over their access to water.]

7. Find Bolivia in the Data Table. What is the 1990-96 percentage of the population with access to safe water? [55%]What is the 1980-98 population growth rate? [2.1%] What is the 1998 GNP per capita?[$1,010] If more projects like the one in Miguel's village were to increase the percentage of people with access to safe water, what changes might you expect to see in these and other indicators? Explain you answer. [Possible answer: Over time, there might be a drop in the population growth rate, since people would not have to have as many children in the hope that a few would survive. People would probably be healthier and more productive, possibly bringing about an increase in GNP per capita. Infant mortality would probably decrease and life expectancy would probably increase.]

8. Go to the Data Table and find out how the 1990-96 percentage of the population with access to safe water in Bolivia compares with that of your country.[Answers will vary.] Would a project like the one outlined in the case study work in your community? Explain your answer.

9. Are you aware of any community-run utilities (water, electric, or gas providers) where you live? What might be some advantages of such programs? What might be some disadvantages? [Answers will vary.]

10. How does your community help ensure that the water you drink is safe? [Answers will vary.]

11. What kind of water supply problems, if any, might your community face?[Answers will vary.]


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