Access to clean drinking water remains a significant health problem in the developing world. Traditional definitions of water access oversimplify the geographic context of water availability, the burden of water collection, and challenges faced along the path, mainly due to a lack of fine scale spatial data. This paper demonstrates how spatial video collected in three informal areas of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, can be used to quantify aspects of the walk to water. These include impediments encountered along the path such as changes in elevation and proximity to traffic. All are mapped along with classic health-related environmental and social information, such as standing water, drains, and trash. The issue of GPS error was encountered due to the built environment that is typical of informal settlements. The spatial video allowed for the correction of the path to gain a more accurate estimate of time and distance for each walk. The resulting mapped health risks at this fine scale of detail reveal micro-geographies of concern. Spatial video is a useful tool for visualizing and analyzing the challenges of water collection. It also allows for data generated along the walk to become part of both a household and local area risk assessment.
Smiley, S., Curtis, A., & Kiwango, J. (2017). Using Spatial Video to Analyze and Map the Water-Fetching Path in Challenging Environments: A Case Study of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 2(2), 8. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2020008