Welfare implications of access to tap water : evidence from Uganda
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The government of Uganda through the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation has made enormous effort to provide safe, clean, and cost-effective water resources, however, there still remain significant gaps in access to safe water sources in relation to the national targets of 79 and 100 percent for rural and urban areas respectively as stipulated in NDP II. In addition, the country is still very far from attaining SDG target six of “universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all” by 2030. In Uganda, safe water coverage is estimated at 79 percent for urban and only 69 percent for rural areas as of June 2019 (Water and Environment Sector Performance Report, 2019). This study was conducted in order to examine the welfare implications of access to tap water in Uganda. Empirical analysis was carried out using cross-sectional data for the UNHS 2016/17 collected by UBOS. Ordinary Least Squares technique was employed to examine the welfare implications of access to tap water, using household consumption expenditure. The results reveal that access to tap water has a significant positive impact on household welfare. Specifically, households with tap water in the dwelling/ yard experience better welfare compared to those who use public taps yet those with access to public taps experience better welfare compared to their counterparts that use boreholes and springs. The study, therefore, recommends increasing access to tap water as one of the ways to improve household welfare in Uganda.