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UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft (2019)

Effects of livestock on water quality and the related health risks in Taita Hills, Kenya

Bisia, Collins Muhadia

Titre : Effects of livestock on water quality and the related health risks in Taita Hills, Kenya

Auteur : Bisia, Collins Muhadia

Université de soutenance : UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2019

A study was conducted to understand how livestock watering in small shareholder systems in Taita Hills, Kenya influence water quality, and in turn how this may relate to human health risks. Water samples were analysed for temperature, pH, electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved oxygen (DO), total suspended solids (TSS), nutrients, total dissolved substances (TDS), dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and E.coli from river points and water pans in areas with varied different livestock and human population densities between the 29th of October 2018 and the 21st of December 2018 in. The sampling points included 4 water pans used for livestock watering and 14 river livestock points with high livestock densities and low human population areas, 6 river livestock watering points in regions with low livestock population areas and high human population and 48 non-livestock points and low human population areas. Semi structured interviews were also conducted in 78 households in regions near the livestock watering points and sanitary inspections for domestic water sources conducted. Water samples were collected from the interviewed household in which E.coli was measured to quantify the risk of contracting diseases from pathogenic E.coli. It was established that livestock watering led to poor water quality by causing higher pH, EC, nutrients (NH4+- N and NO3— N), DOC, TDN and TDN in addition to causing DO saturation below equilibrium. It was also established that High human population has a similar effect of contaminating surface water sources in the same extent as livestock. The risk of household water contamination was high in regions where a majority of the people fetched water from livestock watering holes and, even though some of them conducted additional treatment of water at the household level, most of the treatments were not efficient. Considering the results, there was a need to put in place proper management measures for surface water source to reduce the effect of pollution on the environment and people. The results also suggested the need to put in place measure that will ensure people get access to clean and affordable water to reduce the health risks associated with the pollution of surface waters by livestock.

Sujets  : water quality domestic water livestock Kenya water pollution

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