End-User Preferences for and Performance of Competing POU Water Treatment Technologies among the Rural Poor of Kenya
Albert, J., Luoto, J., Levine, D. (2010). End-User Preferences for and Performance of Competing POU Water Treatment Technologies among the Rural Poor of Kenya. Environmental Science and Technology, 44,12: 4426-4432
Household point-of-use (POU) water treatment technologies targeted at vulnerable populations are microbiologically effective and, in small trials, improve health. We do not understand the factors that influence preference for and adoption of these technologies by target end-users. We cycled 400 rural subsistence farm households in western Kenya through three randomly ordered two-month trials of three POU products: dilute hypochlorite solution, porous ceramic filtration, and a combined flocculant-disinfectant powdered mixture to compare relative end-user preferences and usage. Households reported higher usage of both dilute hypochlorite and filters than the flocculant-disinfectant. Averaged among all participating households, Escherichia coli reductions in treated water were generally higher among those that received dilute hypochlorite solution than among those receiving either of the other two products. Among those households that self-reported product usage, the E. coli reductions achieved by dilute hypochlorite and the flocculant-disinfectant are statistically equivalent to one another and higher than the reductions achieved by filters. At the same time, households ranked filters most frequently as their most preferred product.