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Exploring the potential of solar water disinfection as a household water treatment method in Peri-urban Zimbabwe

Congress: 2008

Keyword(s): health, SODIS, total coliforms, water quality, water treatment
AbstractThe potential of reducing diarrhoea morbidity and improving the health status of children in developing countries using solar water disinfection (SODIS) has been demonstrated in developing countries. A baseline survey was conducted in Zimbabwe to explore the feasibility of introducing SODIS to peri-urban communities. The survey specifically sought to establish drinking water quality in these areas. It also aimed to determine the health and hygiene beliefs as well as practices related to water handling in the household. The survey was carried out in Epworth and Hopley Farm, two peri-urban settlements near the capital, Harare. These two areas are among the poorest settlements in Harare with 80% of inhabitants being informal settlers. Most households cannot afford basic water treatment like boiling. People reported that domestic water was not palatable due to objectionable odour and taste. Microbiological water quality analyses were done. Source water samples from Epworth showed the contamination was within the range of 27cfu/100ml-420cfu/100ml from the stored water, protected and unprotected well water. In Hopley farm contamination was within the range of 3.3cfu/100ml-183cfu/100ml from stored, tape and borehole water. Community meetings were done in the area to introduce the project prior to the survey. This was followed by administration of questionnaires, which aimed to investigate whether the community had ever heard about SODIS, whether they were practicing it, other means that were being used to treat drinking water as well as other health and hygiene beliefs and practices. The majority of the respondents had never heard about SODIS. However of the few that had heard about the method at least 10% were practicing it. Most of the people were willing to try SODIS after the community meetings although they indicated that they would need support to purchase the bottles.
2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin