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Glossary of Water Sanitation & Hygiene Indicators

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Indicators

Number of regular household drinking water sources

Percentage of household* population using one, two, or three or more household drinking water sources regularly for at least one season of the year

Main and regular use of unimproved drinking water source

Percentage of population living in households reporting use of unimproved drinking water sources. Households identify all sources used regularly for at least one season of the year for drinking, reported here as regular sources, and households identify one drinking water source as the main source. Unimproved water follows the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) categorization for each PMA country

Water source reliability (improved source)

Percentage of population living in households who have access to an improved water source always/year-round, intermittently (predictable), or intermittently (unpredictable)

Dedicated hand-washing station

Percentage of population living in households reporting a place to wash hands. The proportion of households reporting a dedicated handwashing station are further classified by the presence or absence of soap and running water based on direct observation

Child feces disposal

Percentage of population living in households with children under 5 years old reporting varied methods of disposing of child fecal matter

Main sanitation facility

Percentage of population using a given category of sanitation facility as the main household practice. Categories include improved (not shared), non-improved, and open defecation according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification system.

Main and regular practice of open defecation

Percentage of population living in households where open defecation is reported as the main practice, and the percent of population reportedly practicing open defecation regularly

*de jure population living in households: includes only usual residents of the households, regardless of whether they are present or absent on the day of the interview