Clean Water Liberia: Disseminating Public Health Data With Story Maps

Authors: Grace Bolt*, Calvin College, Megumu Jansen*, , Jason VanHorn, Calvin College
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Medical and Health Geography, Africa
Keywords: Liberia, Water, GIS, Public Health
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Truman, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


A current initiative is underway in West Africa to provide clean water to every household in Liberia. In conjunction with the national government, Sawyer International along with NGOs in Liberia are distributing clean water filters to each household, while conducting a survey to gather health and demographic statistics, following up every household in two and six weeks, thus generating three data points of information per household.
            Sawyer International is partnered with Calvin College, who conduct geospatial and statistical analysis. The Geospatial team has constructed a monitoring system using the ESRI story map to demonstrate and measure the change of health in Liberia.
            The effect of clean water on the health of the people has been significant in the last two years. For example, instances of runny stomach (diarrhea) in children 0-4 in Bong County, Liberia went from 21% to less than 2% in two weeks after the advent of filters, and was down to less than 1% after 6 weeks. In November 2018, a one year follow-up will be conducted among a statistical sample of households and results will be discussed in this presentation.
            Clean water for Liberians has the potential to jumpstart development in many areas of life. For example, children who no longer suffer from waterborne diseases can return to school and pursue education. Because of far-reaching consequences of clean water, the story map features statistics on demographics, the economy, infrastructure, education, and more, hoping that as Liberia moves through the demographic transition, its progress can be mapped.

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