An overview of groundwater and sanitation challenges in Kisumu City, Kenya

Citation:
Kanoti JR, Olago D, Opiyo N, Nyamai C. "An overview of groundwater and sanitation challenges in Kisumu City, Kenya." International Journal of Innovative Research & Development. 2019;8(4).

Abstract:

The sub-surface is used in most parts of Africa as a repository of human waste and as a source of groundwater through pit latrines and shallow wells respectively. The wells provide freshwater to millions of people in Africa who are either not connected to the piped water or have intermittent supplies. These shallow wells are hand dug and therefore are mostly less than 20 meters in depth. This same sub-surface environment is also used as a repository of human waste through pit latrines. The water points and the sanitation facilities are mostly located close to each other. This study aimed at appraising the groundwater and sanitation challenges based on a rapid survey, sampling, interviews, existing literature review and historical borehole data in Kisumu city, Kenya. Previous studies in the area have shown that the number of shallow wells, city buildings, density of unimproved pit latrines and sanitary risks have increased tremendously between 1999 and 2019. Most of the wells are shallow and therefore prone to contamination by pollutants. Fluoride and chloride content in most boreholes are above the recommended WHO maximum values and the local KEBS standards. The study confirmed that the main water and sanitation challenges in Kisumu are poor and deteriorating water quality, poor waste disposal management systems and poor sanitation services. There is need for the introduction of new and sustainable groundwater approaches supported by scientific models and involving all stakeholders. Current deficiencies in the provision of adequate water and dignified sanitation to the poor in Kisumu can be remedied through improved knowledge on shallow aquifer dynamics and innovative research. It was noted that apart from the donor agencies and multi-national NGOs, the private investors are unwilling to invest in water projects in Kisumu due in part to government legislation that constrains the cost that may be levied on water

Notes:

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