Peru has made significant progress in increasing access to water supply and sanitation (WS&S). It is unclear, however, if improvements have been equitable and whether certain sub-populations are making equivalent progress. This study explored trends in access to WS&S throughout Peru using data from Demographic and Health Surveys. The study focused on the worst forms of household-level WS&S access, including use of untreated surface water and the practice of open defecation (OD). The prevalence of access and the average annual percentage point change in access were analyzed by quintiles of wealth, urban and rural residence, political regions of Peru, and language for the years 2000, 2004, and 2008. The findings indicate that significant progress in access to WS&S has been made in Peru, but that several sub-populations remain underserved. Regions experiencing high levels of OD made dramatic improvements between 2000 and 2008. The poorest urban populations showed an increasing prevalence of OD, and in some cases surpassed poor, rural populations. The use of untreated surface water was reduced between 2000 and 2008, and remained below 5% for the country. An increased focus on targeting high risk populations to improve equity in access is recommended.

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