Project Parameters – University of Copenhagen

Project parameters

Source: G.M.B Akash, winning photo at WIN Photo competition, 2011

Burden: Bangladesh is expected to be one of the countries most affected by climate change, which is expected to cause various water stress scenarios across the country. Cholera, a deadly water-borne and fecal-oral disease, is endemic in Bangladesh.

Knowledge gap: It is unknown how water stress affects cholera prevalence and how climate change may affect cholera prevalence in terms of water stress. This study intends to investigate the associations between water quantity, water quality and cholera.

Study site: Arichpur is a 1.2 km2 urban community located 15 km north of Dhaka, Bangladesh in the Tongi sub-district. Arichpur has approximately 129,000 individuals and 29,000 households where many nuclear families share one room, and 10-15 families share a stove, toilet, and water source. Some households are also made up of a single room that is shared by migrant workers.

Relevance: Tongi has a reportedly high cholera incidence. Cholera identification prevalence in Tongi is currently under investigation by a pilot study entitled, “Investigation the transmission of cholera in Arichpur, Tongi: A pilot study.” This study will run alongside the current study but focuses on the association between water stress and cholera.

Hypothesis: Our hypothesis is that water availability is more important than water quality in cholera prevalence, which will result in climate change having an even greater impact on cholera prevalence than current models predict through its impact on water availability and subsequently human behavior.