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Impact of mining projects on water and sanitation infrastructures and associated child health outcomes: a multi-country analysis of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in sub-Saharan Africa

Dietler, D. and Farnham, A. and Loss, G. and Fink, G. and Winkler, M. S.. (2021) Impact of mining projects on water and sanitation infrastructures and associated child health outcomes: a multi-country analysis of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in sub-Saharan Africa. GLOBAL HEALTH, 17. p. 70.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Access to improved water and sanitation infrastructures are key determinants of health. The sub-Saharan African region in particular is lagging behind the ambitious goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to ensure universal access to improved and reliable water and sanitation for all (Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6). Large mining projects can promote economic growth and hence investments in water and sanitation infrastructures, but at the same time lead to rapid population growth and environmental degradation. In turn, these changes can pose risks and opportunities for child health (SDG 3). In this study we aim to quantify the impacts of mining projects on access to water and sanitation infrastructure as well as diarrhea and malnutrition among children using data from 131 Demographic and Health Surveys from sub-Saharan Africa. RESULTS: From a sample of around 1.2 million households, data within the proximity of 52 mine-panels were selected for longitudinal analyses, resulting in 41,896 households and 32,112 children. Improvements in access to modern water and sanitation infrastructures after mine opening were much larger in households near mining sites than in comparison areas located further away (adjusted relative risk ratio (aRRR) water: 18.60, 95 % confidence interval (CI): 13.08-26.46 and aRRR sanitation: 2.56, 95 % CI: 1.32-4.99). However, these associations were weaker among poorer households. In areas close to the mining sites, stunting and underweight prevalence decreased more strongly upon mine opening (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) stunting: 0.62, 95 % CI: 0.43-0.90; aOR underweight: 0.55, 95 % CI: 0.36-0.84). No differential changes were seen for wasting and diarrhea. Large impact heterogeneity was observed both within and across countries. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the opening of mines is associated with improvements in access to modern water and sanitation infrastructures (SDG 6) as well as in some health outcomes (SDG 3). However, the large impact heterogeneity suggests that the assessment and management of mining-related impacts on communities should have an increased equity-focus, in order to "leave no one behind" in the work towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Overall, the findings of this study underscore that the resource extraction sector has the potential to make positive and substantial contributions towards achieving the SDGs.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Urban Public Health > Health Impact Assessment (Winkler)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Household Economics and Health Systems Research > Epidemiology and Household Economics (Fink)
06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Epidemiology and Household Economics (Fink)
UniBasel Contributors:Dietler, Dominik and Farnham, Andrea and Loss, Georg and Fink, G√ľnther and Winkler, Mirko
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
ISSN:1367-353X
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:20 Dec 2022 09:29
Deposited On:20 Dec 2022 09:29

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