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The effects of vertical and horizontal separations between pit latrine and hand dug well on contamination water by human fecal matter in Bomachoge Borabu, Kenya.

Nyabayo C. J., Chemoiwa E. J., Mwamburi L., Jepkogei R. M., Albert Kimutai


In developed world, water diseases are rare due to presence of efficient water supply and human wastes disposal systems (Jorge et al., 2010). However, in developing countries like Kenya, are characterized by inadequate basic resources such as safe drinking water and sewerage disposal facilities. This is due to rapid population growth. Consequently, use of pit latrines and hand dug wells are commonly used. There is concern that pit latrines may cause ecological and human health effects associated with pathogenic and chemical contaminations of ground water sources by hand dug wells. In Kenya, pit latrine disposal method could be a main source of ground water contamination. Contaminants from pit latrines excreta can potentially leach into groundwater, causing human health risks through contamination of hand dug well water. In this study we assessed vertical separation between the depths of pit latrines and hand dug wells and the horizontal separation between wells and pit latrines. These assessments were to establish the separation distance that can allow the pathogens to die off naturally or leach to underground water. A cross-sectional study design was used. The study areas of Bomachoge Borabu sub county were; Magenche, Bokimonge, Bombaba and Boochi, targeting hand dug wells and pit latrines usage within homesteads. Methods of data collection used in the study were questionnaires, measurements and laboratory water analysis. The results revealed that hand dug well water was significantly (p<0.05) contaminated with faecal coliforms in all study sites. In addition, usage of pit latrines and wells was significant (p<0.05) too. Over 60% of the population used both pit latrine system and hand dug wells for faecal disposal and as water source respectively. These results also showed that the minimum horizontal separation distance between pit latrine and hand dug well was 60 meters and vertical separation distance between depths of pit latrine and hand dug well was 1.1metre (45inches) at these distances no faecal coliforms were recorded. It was recommended that public health sensitization exercise be made in the study area.


Contamination; pathogens; buffers; sewerage; regression; correlation.

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