A Catchment to Consumer Approach to Rural Water Resource Assessment - Baseline Study and Safe Drinking Supply Strategy for Orongo Village, Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya.
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AbstractOrongo village is a sustenance farming community situated near Kenyan Lake Victoria. Extremes exist in rainfall patterns and climate depending on season and physical topography, so lake-shore communities face water quality deterioration from both periods of scarcity and flooding due to their low lying plain location. Poor sanitation and upstream pressures exacerbate conditions. Extreme rates of rural child mortality exceed 200 per 1000, indicating that there are serious water-related problems. Like most of the rural Lake Victoria region, water infrastructure is very limited and poorly maintained, with most drinking sources of sub-satisfactory quality. There is widespread faecal contamination in both the shallow well water, although it appears clear, and in the highly turbid streams. Deep boreholes, though safe microbiologically, have naturally high fluoride levels at twice the WHO standard that is a cause for longer-term concern. Approximately one third of the village relies largely upon visibly polluted and untreated river water for their drinking needs, as wells collapse in the waterlogged ground. This thesis presents an approach to water resources assessment (WRA) and development of a safe water strategy as adapted to a rural, developing community. The first half of the report assesses the current status of drinking sources available in Orongo and identifies contamination risks from upstream, at the village water points, and usage in the household. Water issues are considered in context with the health, social, economic, and political conditions of the village. The second half of the thesis takes the conclusions drawn from the WRA and proposes a strategy to providing safe drinking water to Orongo at a household level. Lasting benefit requires a combination of water treatment, safe water storage, health education, and adequate sanitation; applying an approach from the WHO’s guidance on water quality protection and control from source to consumer. Treatment methods are evaluated and compared in terms of effectiveness, cost, and operational process. The most important aspects to address in Orongo village’s strategy towards safer drinking water are: 1) repair and better protection of existing wells 2) improved hygiene practices and education to prevent cross contamination 3) expanded rooftop rainwater harvesting to utilize a better source 4) catchment protection and improved sanitation to address sources of pollution and prevent new cycles of contamination 5) economically and technologically appropriate treatment methods that can be implemented with minimal financial investment, locally available and natural materials, and simple guidance Rainwater harvesting, hardly utilized today, has the potential to provide good quality drinking water to nearly all 3000 residents with construction of only 16 large storage tanks systems on various communal buildings. Solar disinfection and solar pasteurization is appropriate for the clear, but microbiologically contaminated shallow wells. Highly turbid surface water can be effectively treated in a two step process: bio-clarification and partial disinfection using Moringa oleifera seed powder, combined with pathogen destruction by SODIS. An integrated “catchment to consumer” approach, with full awareness of the sources of contamination and required protection measures from both upstream, and within the household, is necessary to improve the quality and safety of water supplies for Orongo village. This approach should have relevance to other communities in the Lake Victoria region with similar natural conditions and a comparable economic, social, and political environment.
Publisher or UniversityRoyal Institute of Technology (KTH) Sweden