Contamination of drinking water between source and point-of-use in rural households of South Africa and Zimbabwe: implications for monitoring the Millennium Development Goal for water
Gundry, S.W., Wright, J.A., Conroy, R., du Preez, M., Genthe, B., Moyo, S., Mutisi, C., Ndamba, J. and Potgieter, N. (2006) Contamination of drinking water between source and point-of-use in rural households of South Africa and Zimbabwe: implications for monitoring the Millennium Development Goal for water. Water Practice and Technology, 1, (2) (doi:10.2166/wpt.2006.032).
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Aims: To assess contamination of drinking water in rural Zimbabwe and South Africa
Methods: We conducted a cohort study of 254 children aged 12-24 months in rural South Africa and Zimbabwe.
In dry and wet seasons, we measured water quality, using the indicator organism E. coli, at improved and
unimproved sources, in household storage and drinking cups. We also recorded hygiene and socio-economic
factors for each household.
Results: For improved sources, samples with E. coli counts less than 10 cfu/100ml were as follows: at source:
165 (88%); in household storage 137 (59%); in drinking cups 91 (49%). The corresponding values for unimproved
sources were: source 47 (29%); household storage 32 (19%); drinking cups 21 (18%). This significant
deterioration in microbial quality of water from improved sources was seen in both countries and both survey
Conclusion: Although improved sources generally delivered ‘safe’ water at the point-of-supply, 12% of source
samples were contaminated and as such were ‘unsafe’. Furthermore, in household storage, more than 40% of
samples were ‘unsafe’. For monitoring the Millennium Development Goal for water, UNICEF-WHO are assuming
an equivalence between ‘improved’ sources and ‘safe’ water. Our findings suggest that this equivalence may be
|Keywords:||developing countries, household water storage and treatment (HWST), hygiene, intervention, monitoring, regulations.|
|Subjects:||G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
|Divisions:||University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis
|Date Deposited:||01 Aug 2008|
|Last Modified:||02 Mar 2012 12:31|
|Contact Email Address:||J.A.Wright@soton.ac.uk|
|RDF:||RDF+N-Triples, RDF+N3, RDF+XML, Browse.|
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