A study of the quality of well-water supplies as drinking water sources for rural communities in the Ashanti region of Ghana in relation to health and disease

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
In man’s quest to attain health for all peoples of the world by the year 2000, emphasis is placed on the eradication of selected diseases and the improvement of the health profile of the inhabitants of the world. Towards this laudable end one cardinal problem in the developing world is to do with water and sanitation. The greater proportion of the population of developing nations is found in rural settlements. Rural Water and Sanitation is therefore a salient issue to be addressed in its entirety. In Ghana, rural water supply is an issue that is viewed with all the seriousness it deserves. The quality of water available to the rural folk leaves a lot to be desired and this contributes immensely to the high incidence of water-related diseases amongst the rural dwellers in most of these rural settlements diarrhoeal diseases are a bane in the existence of the inhabitants. This problem may be overcome when emphasis is placed on the provision of good quality drinking-water for the rural folk. This work was undertaken as a development-oriented research, geared towards pin-pointing the cause of high incidence of diarrhoeal diseases in identified rural districts. in such rural districts the source of water available to the inhabitants range from deep hand-dug uncovered wells to subterranean water sources; these burst out onto the surface to form shallow wells Of various diameters. Wells which were fitted with a pumping mechanism (boreholes) were also included in the work since rural settlements which depended on these had low incidence of diarrhoeal diseases. The results of the study bear testimony to the scientific fact that the level of occurrence of diarrhoeal diseases anywhere has not only to do with the quality of the water available to the people but also to the sanitation situation of the environs of the water sources. The study underlines the absolute need to put in place a rural water and sanitation programme which should include water source monitoring and surveillance, especially the non-pipe borne water sources to ensure that its potability is maintained over the entire period of utilization.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of Master of Science Degree in Medical Microbiology, 1996