Community based cross sectional study to assess the drinking water handling practices and its association with water borne diseases at household level, in a tribal community

Sophia D. Fernandes, Priyanka Chakkarwar


Background: 71% of India resides in its villages. The living conditions in rural areas are poor, which make India’s rural population more vulnerable to inaccessibility of safe drinking water and high risk of water borne diseases. Water safety in a community depends on a range of factors, from the quality of source water to storage and handling in the domestic setting. The present study was conducted to understand the knowledge and practices about hygiene of drinking water.

Methods: A community-based, cross-sectional observational study was conducted in Sakhawar a tribal village of Palghar district, Mumbai, Maharashtra, to study the water handling practices in households and its association with the prevalence of water borne diseases. One Pada was selected randomly for study. The duration of data collection was three months. All the houses in the Pada were included in the study.

Results: Of the 152 households included in the study, 47.4% did not use any method of water disinfection whereas 15% used boiling and 40% used chlorination as a method of water disinfection. Tap water was the commonest source of drinking water used by 52.6% of households. Only 7.9% subjects used ladle to draw stored water. The prevalence of water borne diseases was 81.57% and was significantly associated with distance of drinking water source from house, education status, family type, duration of water supply, knowledge of water disinfection methods and water disinfection practiced.

Conclusions: Health education, promotion and practice of hygienic water handling practices can significantly reduce water borne diseases morbidity.


Water source, Water disinfection, Water handling practices, Water borne diseases

Full Text:



Sustainable development goals, Goal 6, Department of Economic and Social affairs, United Nations. Available at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un. org/sdg6. Accessed on 20 November 2017.

Sustainable development goals. Available at Accessed on 20 November 2017.

Sustainable development goals, SDG 6. Available at Accessed on 20 November 2017.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Nodal and other Ministries. Draft Mapping, Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office, NITI Aayog, Pg. 9 of 30. Available at 20060416_0.pd. Accessed on 04 April 2016.

Bharti, Malik M, Kumar V, Verma R, Chawla S, Sachdeva S. Knowledge, attitude and practice regarding water handling and water quality assessment in rural block of Haryana. Int J Basic Applied Med Sci. 2013;3(2):243-7.

National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), Available at: pdf/FRIND3/00FrontMatter00.pdf. Accessed on 20 November 2017.

Bhattacharya M, Joon V, Jaiswal V. Water handling and sanitation practices in rural community of Madhya Pradesh: a knowledge, attitude and practice study. Indian J Prevent Social Med. 2011;42(1):93-7.

Water, Environment and Sanitation, UNICEF India. Available at Accessed on 20 November 2017.

Pachori R. Drinking water and sanitation: household survey for knowledge and practice in rural area, Magudanchavadi, Salem district, India. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2016;3:1820-8.

National Health Profile (NHP) of India 2017, Socio-economic indicators, Chapter 2. Available at Accessed on 11 January 2018.