Okotto-Okotto J, Okotto L, Price H, Pedley S & Wright J (2015) A longitudinal study of long-term change in contamination hazards and shallow well quality in two neighbourhoods of Kisumu, Kenya. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12 (4), pp. 4275-4291. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120404275
Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing rapid urbanisation and many urban residents use groundwater where piped supplies are intermittent or unavailable. This study aimed to investigate long-term changes in groundwater contamination hazards and hand-dug well water quality in two informal settlements in Kisumu city, Kenya. Buildings, pit latrines, and wells were mapped in 1999 and 2013-2014. Sanitary risk inspection and water quality testing were conducted at 51 hand-dug wells in 2002 to 2004 and 2014. Pit latrine density increased between 1999 and 2014, whilst sanitary risk scores for wells increased between 2002 to 2004 and 2014 (n = 37, Z = -1.98, p = 0.048). Nitrate levels dropped from 2004 to 2014 (n = 14, Z = -3.296, p = 0.001), but multivariate analysis suggested high rainfall in 2004 could account for this. Thermotolerant coliform counts dropped between 2004 and 2014, with this reduction significant in one settlement. Hand-dug wells had thus remained an important source of domestic water between 1999 and 2014, but contamination risks increased over this period. Water quality trends were complex, but nitrate levels were related to both sanitary risks and rainfall. Given widespread groundwater use by the urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa, the study protocol could be further refined to monitor contamination in hand-dug wells in similar settings.
groundwater; water pollution; water wells; urbanization; latrines; longitudinal survey
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Volume 12, Issue 4