Proximity Density Assessment and Characterization of Water and Sanitation Facilities in the Informal Settlements of Kisumu City: Implications for Public Health Planning

Citation:
Othoo CO, Dulo SO, Olago DO, Ayah R. "Proximity Density Assessment and Characterization of Water and Sanitation Facilities in the Informal Settlements of Kisumu City: Implications for Public Health Planning." Journal of UOEH. 2020;42(3):237-249.

Abstract:

Access to water and sanitation remain a challenge in many developing countries, especially in pro-poor
urban informal settlements where socioeconomic livelihoods are generally low. The aim of this study was to characterise the water and sanitation facilities in the informal settlements of Kisumu City and to evaluate their effect on
community hygiene and health. The study focussed on the five urban informal settlements of Nyalenda A, Nyalenda
B, Manyatta A, Manyatta B and Obunga, and the three Peri-urban informal settlements of Kogony, Usoma and
Otonglo. Using descriptive techniques, the researcher surveyed 114 water sources and all sanitation facilities within
0-15m and 15-30m radii of the water sources. The findings revealed dominance of shallow wells and traditional pit
latrines as the primary water sources and sanitation facilities, respectively. Out of the water sources studied, 87.7%
(100) were shallow wells (mean depth 1.5 m), 9.6% (11) springs and 2.6% (3) boreholes. Most of these shallow
wells (83%) were within the urban informal settlements where uses range from washing and cleaning, cooking, and
even drinking (13.5%), despite the majority being unprotected. The analysis of the density of sanitation facilities
near the water points showed that 32.3% existed within a 15m radius of the nearest water sources, in violation of
the recommended safe distance of 30m. With an increased density of toilets near critical water sources and other
sanitary practices, public health is highly compromised.

Keywords : density, health, informal settlements, water-source, Sanitation technology.

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