The World Bank recently published an extensive study, “WASH Poor in a Water-Rich Country: A Diagnostic of Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

The Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Poverty Diagnostic (WPD) in the Democratic republic of Congo is part of a global initiative to improve evidence on the linkages between WASH and poverty. The diagnostic provides a detailed analysis of sector status, strengths, and weaknesses to inform the attainment of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim for universal access to safely managed water and sanitation.

This major project included WASH surveys of 6,010 households at an unprecedented level in  cities, intra-cities and villages. A total of 3,512 water quality tests were conducted. The study used the Aquagenx CBT Kit for E. coli testing.

Page 96 of the report states:

” For testing for E. coli contamination, a new, cheap and easy-to-use field-testing kit by Aquagenx was used (CTB II).”

Poor water quality is a core service gap at the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s WASH challenges. Low quality of supply and treatment, low levels of sanitation access, fecal pollution of the environment, as well as unsanitary handling
and storage of drinking water by households conspire to cause widespread contamination. The WASH Poverty Diagnostic shows that pollution of water with E. coli at point of use is common across improved and unimproved sources, is high in the capital Kinshasa, and near universal in some rural areas. This contributes to extraordinarily elevated levels of water-related disease and child malnutrition and thus represents a direct threat to human health and development in the Democratic
Republic of Congo.

The WASH Poverty Diagnostic for the Democratic Republic of Congo is led by Maximilian Hirn (Economist, World Bank Water Global Practice) and Aude-Sophie Rodella (Senior Economist, World Bank Water Global Practice).

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