PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF WATER QUALITY OF THE KIRI RESERVOIR, ADAMAWA STATE, NORTHEASTERN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

Both water pollution and water scarcity are increasing global problems and particularly serious challenges for Africa. According to the World Health Organization, more people lack access to safe water in Africa than anywhere else in the world. To meet the growing demand for water worldwide, dams and irrigation systems are often built, particularly to provide water for agricultural needs. However, dams, especially large dams, may promote the spread of water-associated diseases. Completed in 1982, the Kiri Dam reservoir in Adamawa State, northeastern Nigeria, supports the water needs, which at times includes drinking, for many people living around the reservoir. To assess overall water quality and presence of disease indicators in the Kiri reservoir, and to establish baseline data for future monitoring, I collected water samples (near-shore and open-water sites) in October 2016.

I evaluated the samples for physico-chemical and biological characteristics and compared some values to national and international standards for drinking water. I found microorganisms that indicate contamination, such as Escherichia coli, in all near-shore samples and eggs of parasitic worms, including Schistosoma hematobium and most likely Echinococcus granulosus, in most near-shore samples. Aside from average turbidity (727.4 NTU), most of the physico-chemical parameters I measured did not exceed international standards. Overall, I found that the Kiri reservoir is not heavily polluted; however, some important parameters were not measured in this study, including heavy metals, nitrates, and pesticides. Future research should concentrate on these parameters, indicator bacteria, and helminths, and a monitoring program should be established.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT
LIST OF TABLES
LIST OF FIGURES

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Diseases & Water Quality
Dams, Reservoirs, & Disease
Case of Nigeria
HYPOTHESES
AIMS & OBJECTIVES

CHAPTER 2
MATERIALS & METHODS
Study Site
Sampling

CHAPTER 3
RESULTS

CHAPTER 4
DISCUSSION

CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION
REFERENCES


CHAPTER ONE




INTRODUCTION

Essential for all life on Earth, water is under threat globally. Both the quantity and quality of water are of serious concern to global leaders, government officials, urban planners, and rural communities, among others. Water is a topic of special concern to public health professionals, who observe, study, and attempt to resolve water quality and scarcity issues affecting millions of people on the planet. Water quality and scarcity present an increasingly complex challenge given the effects of climate change. For example, in the future some regions may experience increased or decreased precipitation and higher temperatures – leading to increased flooding or droughts. These conditions can further degrade water quality and worsen water pollution (Bates et al., 2008).


In Africa, as human populations rapidly expand, the demand for water increases; however, water sources are becoming scarcer. Approximately 40% of Africans live in dry sub-humid, semi-arid, and arid regions. The amount of water accessible per individual in Africa is far beneath the global average and is declining; annual per-capital availability of water is 4,000 cubic meters compared to a global average of 6,500 cubic meters (UNEP, 2010).


One example is the near-disappearance of Lake Chad, which borders four countries: Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. Lake Chad is the biggest lake in the Chad Basin and one of the giant water bodies in Africa. Due to high demand for water for agriculture, demand from growing human populations, and the effects of climate change, the lake has contracted dramatically. Between 1963 and 2001, the surface area of Lake Chad declined from 25,000 km2 to less than 1,350km2 (Coe & Foley, 2001) (Fig. 1).


In addition to increasing water scarcity in Africa and globally, water quality is a growing public health and environmental problem, especially given the role of water in human health, agriculture, industry, etc. Impacts of water quality are most significant in low- to middle-income countries. Many people live in countries that are ill equipped to cope with public health and environmental crises related to water.

A large number (35%) of health-care facilities in low- and middle-income countries have no water supply or soap for hand washing, and only 19% of these facilities have improved sanitation (WHO, 2015).


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