WATER AND WATER-BORNE DISEASES IN NORTH MASABA DISTRICT, KENYA
Keywords:Point of use (POU) intervention, biosand filtration, chlorination, boiling, water quality
Approximately 1.1 billion people in the world lack access to safe drinking water. As a result 1.8 million people mostly in developing countries, and 90% of whom are children under 5, die every year from diarrheal diseases such as including cholera. This study was carried out with the objective of evaluating access to safe drinking water and the perceived incidence of water-borne diseases in North Masaba District, Kenya. Two samples were collected from each household, one sample of drinking water after treatment and another sample of water directly from the source. From each sample, the population of Total Thermotolerant Coliforms was determined. The results were recorded as the number of Colony Forming Units (CFU/100 ml). Only 49% of the households were found to consume drinking water that is considered by WHO to be of reasonably good quality while 16% of the households consumed water unsuited for human consumption. For the turbidity tests, 57% of the households achieved the WHO recommended standard of less than 5 NTU. It was noted that while many households have access to improved water sources, and while these sources provide drinking water that is less contaminated than unimproved sources, the quality of water from these sources does not meet WHO standards. This would explain the high percentage of people (34%) reporting incidence of water-borne diseases in the household. There is therefore need for sensitizing the 25% of the households that do not carry out point of use (POU) intervention to start doing so before consuming the water. There is also need for more research to establish why some of the POU interventions fail to provide safe water even though it is known that such methods are very effective in microbial decontamination.