The Effect of Infrastructure on Water-Related Diseases in Rural African Communities

  • Victoria M. Bates Vanderbilt University, Blair School of Music


Water-related diseases are still a leading cause of death in developing countries. Though the relationship between water-related disease mortality rates and water sanitation and hygiene measures is well documented, the means to provide proper water and sanitation treatment remain elusive. This paper examines the effect of hard infrastructure on water-related disease rates and proposes that building infrastructure is the best way to reduce the prevalence of water-related disease in rural African villages. It examines the history of sanitation infrastructure in developed countries as well as why similar measures are difficult to implement in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper analyzes three rural African countries’ sanitation infrastructure systems (Botswana, Rwanda, Swaziland) to recommend best practices in rural African villages. Recommendations for future infrastructure systems are given as well as how governments can best implement those systems to reduce water-related disease mortality rates.

Author Biography

Victoria M. Bates, Vanderbilt University, Blair School of Music
Vanderbilt University, Class of 2012 Harp Performance; Medicine, Health & Society
How to Cite
BATES, Victoria M.. The Effect of Infrastructure on Water-Related Diseases in Rural African Communities. Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Journal, [S.l.], v. 8, july 2012. ISSN 1555-788X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 aug. 2019. doi:
Humanities and Social Sciences


Infrastructure, Africa, Water-related disease, Sanitation