An evaluation of the water quality, sanitation and the incidence of water-related diseases in Tali, Northern Region

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A study was conducted to evaluate the Water Quality, Sanitation and the Incidence of Water-Related Diseases in Tali, a village in the Tolon- Kumbungu District in the Northern Region of Ghana with the view of getting an insight into the trend of some water- related diseases in the district and make appropriate recommendations to stakeholders in the Water and Sanitation sector. Ten wells, comprising four (4) deep cemented hand-dug wells and six shallow hand-dug wells, and the new Tali dam were selected as sample points. Water samples were collected from these points for analysis using portable field-testing kits (Delagua) for bacteriological and chemical water analysis. Samples were also taken from households for fecal coliform tests. Sanitary survey of the community and inspection of toilet facilities were also conducted. The incidence of some water related disease cases (malaria, diarrhoea, skin diseases, intestinal worms, typhoid fever, bilharzia and guinea worm) from 1995-1999 in Tall, Tolon clinic and the district have been assessed. Results of the bacteriological analysis revealed significant high values of fecal coliforms in all the samples taken from the sample points. An average value of 9.4 x 103 FC/l00ml was recorded for household drinking water. The turbidity values of wells 1, 7,9,10, which are the main wells, used for drinking purposes have values less than 5TU. The pH of all the wells apart from well no. 4 and well no. 5 fall within the WHO guideline value of between 6.5 - 8.5. The level of iron in wells within Tali fall within the WHO guideline value of 0.3mg/l. Wells at the outskirts of Tall excluding well no.10, have levels of iron greater than the WHO guideline value. An extremely high level of iron about 3.Omg/l in well no.8 has led to the abandoning of the well. The study revealed that the community has only one toilet which is full and therefore about 98% of the population resort to field defecation. Most of the water sources are not adequately protected against fecal pollution. The study also revealed that water related diseases accounted for 72.86% and 73.90% of all the cases reported to the Clinic by residents of Tali in 1998 and 1999 respectively. Malaria and diarrhoeal diseases are most prevalent whereas typhoid fever, skin diseases, intestinal worms and bilharzia are very low. Guinea worm cases have seen a reduction from 77 in 1990 to 5 cases in 1999. To reduce significantly the incidence of water related diseases in Tali, a much improved water supply system of sanitary quality, effective sanitation and sustained hygiene education must be put in place.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science degree in Environmental Science, 2000