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The meanings of water: Socio‐Cultural Perceptions of Solar Disinfected (SODIS) drinking water in Bolivia and implications for its uptake

Nuño Martínez, N. and Ribera, J. M. and Hausmann-Muela, S. and Cevallos, M. and Hartinger, S. M. and Christen, A. and Mäusezahl, D.. (2020) The meanings of water: Socio‐Cultural Perceptions of Solar Disinfected (SODIS) drinking water in Bolivia and implications for its uptake. Water, 12. p. 442.

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Abstract

olar disinfection (SODIS) of drinking water is a cost-e�ective household water treatment
(HWT) method. Despite its simplicity of use, evidence suggest that SODIS water uptake remains
lower than implementers planned. In this paper, we investigate socio-cultural factors associated
with SODIS water uptake in rural Andean Bolivia. We conducted 28 semi-structured in-depth
interviews and six focus group discussions within the framework of a community randomised trial
to assess the uptake of SODIS water in the Bolivian Andes. Participants argued that SODIS does not
produce an attractive type of drinking water despite acknowledging that SODIS represents a simple,
safe, low-cost, and easy method of preparing safe drinking water. Attitudes towards SODIS water
reflected local interpretations of water, health, and illness. The taste of SODIS water, the invisibility of
water-borne pathogens, and habituation to untreated water represented the main barriers to SODIS
water uptake. Alternative culturally adapted SODIS promotional campaigns (e.g., using herbs and
additives to improve SODIS water taste) can increase its perceived desirability.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Household Economics and Health Systems Research > Household Economy (Fink)
UniBasel Contributors:Hartinger, Stella and Mäusezahl, Daniel and Nuno, Nestor
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Berchem
ISSN:0770-7193
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:10 Jul 2020 03:10
Deposited On:05 Mar 2020 09:55

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