Waste water use in Agriculture (A Public Health Threat) - a Case Study of Kumasi

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2004-11-20
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Abstract
The study aimed at determining the health hazards posed by water from streams and shallow wells used for irrigation of vegetable crops in some parts of Kumasi. Streams and shallow well water samples were collected twice a week over a period of six weeks in each of wet (March-April) and dry (December-January) seasons of 2002- 2003. The water samples were analysed for helminth eggs using the sedimentation procedure of Bouhoum and Schwartzbrod (1989). Wet and dry season streams and shallow well water used for vegetable irrigation contained helminths eggs such as Ascaris lumbricoides, Hookworm, Hymenolepis nana, Hymenolepis diminuta, Trichuris trichiura, Schistosoma haematohium, Clonorchis sinensis, Stongyloides stercoralis and Taenia with their concentrations above the WHO guidelines of one egg per litre. There was higher helminth egg concentration in the wet season than dry season even though the dry season recorded more species. The variations in helminth eggs were statistically significant (p 0.05) in respect of the seasons and sampling sites. Ascaris lumbricoides occurred most with the highest egg concentration in all the sampling sites for both seasons. The shallow wells recorded higher helminth egg concentration though there were more helminth species in the streams. Pathogenic helminths that reach agricultural fields and crops through streams and shallow well water used for irrigation are potential health threats to vegetable farmers, consumers and the public resulting in morbidity, death and in man-hour losses.
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A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology , College of Science, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science, 2004
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