Perception of Water Quality and Health Risks in the Rural Area of Medellín (Colombia)
Luisa Fernanda Roldan Rojas, Andreas Megerle
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Regional Science, Germany
In Latin America and the Caribbean, approximately 50 million people lack even basic access to drinking water, most of them living in rural areas. This uneven spatial distribution of the drinking water supply poses a continuous public health risk, results in low economic productivity, low prosperity and thus contributes to the enforcement of regional disparities. As to the successful implementation of drinking water systems, the focus is still on technical factors and on measures to improve the knowledge of the target groups. Using the example of three rural quarters of Medellín (Colombia), this study shows how the perception of water quality and health risks by different social target groups may influence the implementation process of drinking water systems. A social area analysis was carried out to determine the socio-economic framework of the study, followed by 125 face-to-face interviews with drinking water consumers, complemented by additional expert interviews.
Keywords: Health risks, Latin America, Medellín, quality perception, risk perception, rural areas of large cities, South America, water quality
Contact Address: Luisa Fernanda Roldan Rojas, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Regional Science, Kaiserstraße 12, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany, e-mail: luisa.rojasstudent.kit.edu