Assessing the role of risk perception in ensuring sustainable arsenic mitigation

Sushant K. Singh, Robert W. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aims to evaluate the role of people's risk perception, and their socioeconomic, demographic, and other social correlates in providing sustainable arsenic mitigation. We interviewed the head of 340 households in three arsenic-affected villages of Bihar, India. A conceptual framework of risk perception and decision-making of arsenic mitigation technology is used to capture possible predictors of risk perception. Bivariate analysis was performed to derive the predictors of risk perception, and cross-tab analysis was conducted to calculate novel findings. A majority of the respondents were willing to adopt arsenic mitigation technologies as a result of their higher perceived risks to health and income than social discrimination risk. Respondents' caste, education level, agricultural landholdings, and social trust were the strongest predictors of perceived health risks. In addition to these factors, income, sanitation practices, people's prioritization of socio-environmental problems, arsenic awareness, and social capital, were the strongest predictors of perceived economic risk. Respondents' agricultural landholdings, prioritization of social problems, arsenic awareness, and social capital, were the strongest predictors of perceived social discrimination risk. Arsenic mitigation is highly likely to be successful among communities with greater perceived health and economic risks. The households with higher perceived social discrimination risk should be targeted for arsenic awareness program along with the mitigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100241
JournalGroundwater for Sustainable Development
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Arsenic
  • Decision-making
  • Economic risk-perception
  • Health risk-perception
  • Social capital
  • Social discrimination risk-perception
  • Socioeconomic-demographic

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