January 21, 2020
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Posted by NCID
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Between 2005 and 2015 the Government of Peru underwen a nation-wide expansion of sewerage infrastructure. What they didn't expect was for this to have an effect on infant and under-five mortality. Mortality increased a 6% on average at each district where a new sewerage project was constructed.

"In low and middle income countries there is a lot of unfinished mega projects", said Antonella Bancalari, job market candidate who visited the NCID last friday 17th of January to present her paper 'Unintended Consequences of Infrastructure Development: Sewerage and Early-life Mortality in Peru'.

Two main causes were behind the relation between sewerage construction and the increase in under-five mortality. First, the open ditches on construction became pools of stagnated water and landfills, increasing water related diseases and accidents. Second, only half of the started projects were finished, and half of those finished took more than five years to be completed, meaning that an abandonment of the sewerage projects increased diseases.