Using Spatial Video to Analyze and Map Water Access Challenges in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Authors: Sarah Smiley*, Kent State University, Andrew Curtis, Kent State University
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology, Africa, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: water insecurity, water access, spatial video, Tanzania, Sub-Saharan Africa
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Balcony A, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


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 the challenges faced along the water collection path, mainly due to a lack of fine scale spatial data. This paper presents a method to collect this data that can be used in a variety of water research contexts: spatial video. Spatial video is the combination of a video with attached or embedded GPS coordinates. Using a spatial video camera, 31 videos were collected of walks to water in 3 informal areas of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. A researcher walked behind the water fetcher and the camera captured high definition images of the urban environment. After video collection, specific aspects of each walk were mapped including walking challenges (such as terrain), contextual variables (such as people), and health challenges (such as trash, open drains, and standing water). The total amount of challenges as well as the type of challenges varied between walks demonstrating the complexity of household water access and insecurity. Spatial video is a useful tool for visualizing and analyzing the challenges of water collection at the household level and can be incorporated into future water insecurity research.

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