IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Benefits trickling away: the health impact of extending access to piped water and sanitation in urban Yemen


  • Stephan Klasen
  • Tobias Lechtenfeld
  • Kristina Meier
  • Johannes Rieckmann


This article investigates the impact of extending piped water supply and sanitation on health outcomes in urban Yemen using a combination of quasi-experimental methods and results from microbiological water tests. Variations in project roll-out allow separate identification of water and sanitation impacts. The results indicate that access to piped water supply worsens health outcomes when water rationing is frequent, which appears to be linked to the build-up of pollution in the network. When water supply is continuous no clear health benefits are found compared to traditional urban water supply through water vendors, but connections to piped sewers can then lead to health improvements. The findings suggest that investments in piped water supply should not be made when reliability of water cannot be guaranteed.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan Klasen & Tobias Lechtenfeld & Kristina Meier & Johannes Rieckmann, 2012. "Benefits trickling away: the health impact of extending access to piped water and sanitation in urban Yemen," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(4), pages 537-565, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevef:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:537-565 DOI: 10.1080/19439342.2012.720995

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gamper-Rabindran, Shanti & Khan, Shakeeb & Timmins, Christopher, 2010. "The impact of piped water provision on infant mortality in Brazil: A quantile panel data approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 188-200, July.
    2. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 153-173, January.
    3. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2007. "The Illusion of Sustainability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1007-1065.
    4. Hugh Waddington & Birte Snilstveit, 2009. "Effectiveness and sustainability of water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions in combating diarrhoea," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(3), pages 295-335.
    5. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
    6. Wendy Janssens, 2011. "Externalities In Program Evaluation: The Impact Of A Women'S Empowerment Program On Immunization," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(6), pages 1082-1113, December.
    7. Ganesh Rauniyar & Aniceto Orbeta & Guntur Sugiyarto, 2011. "Impact of water supply and sanitation assistance on human welfare in rural Pakistan," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 62-102.
    8. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, January.
    9. Pascaline Dupas, 2011. "Health Behavior in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 425-449, September.
    10. World Bank, 2004. "Water Resources Sector Strategy : Strategic Directions for World Bank Engagement," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15013.
    11. Victoria Yue-May Fan & Ajay Mahal, 2011. "What prevents child diarrhoea? The impacts of water supply, toilets, and hand-washing in rural India," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 340-370, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Headey, Derek D., 2013. "Developmental Drivers of Nutritional Change: A Cross-Country Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 76-88.
    2. Rieckmann, Johannes, 2015. "Determinants of drinking water treatment and hygiene habits in provincial towns in Yemen," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113183, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevef:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:537-565. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.