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Classification of main source of water for other purposes (improved/unimproved)

Codes and Frequencies

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NDRINKWTRTYPE indicates whether the household's main source of water that is used for non-drinking purposes, such as cooking and handwashing, is an improved or unimproved water source. Improved water sources are those that, by nature of their construction or through active intervention, are likely to be protected from outside contamination (e.g., contamination with fecal matter).

As outlined by the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), the following types of non-drinking water sources are said to be improved:

  • Piped water into dwelling, plot, or yard
  • Public tap/standpipe
  • Tubewell/borehole
  • Protected dug well
  • Protected spring
  • Rainwater collection

The following types of water sources are said to be unimproved:

  • Unprotected dug well
  • Unprotected spring
  • Cart with small tank/drum
  • Tanker-truck
  • Surface water (river, dam, lake, pond, stream, canal, irrigation channels)
  • Bottled water/sachet water*

* Users should note that while packaged water i.e., from a bottle or sachet, used for drinking is now considered to be an improved source, PMA2020 samples classify packaged water used for non-drinking purposes as unimproved.

The question associated with this variable was included in the female questionnaire.


There are no comparability issues.


  • All persons.


  • Burkina Faso: 2014
  • Ghana: 2013
  • Uganda: 2014-2015