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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 4275-4291; doi:10.3390/ijerph120404275

A Longitudinal Study of Long-Term Change in Contamination Hazards and Shallow Well Quality in Two Neighbourhoods of Kisumu, Kenya

Victoria Institute for Research on Environment and Development (VIRED), International Rabuour Environment and Development Centre, Kisumu-Nairobi Road, P.O. Box 6423-40103, Kisumu, Kenya
School of Spatial Planning and Natural Resource Management, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Bondo (Main) Campus, P.O. Box 210-40601, Bondo, Kenya
Geography and Environment, University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Robens Centre for Public and Environmental Health, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 20 February 2015 / Revised: 2 April 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1122 KB, uploaded 17 April 2015]   |  


Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing rapid urbanisation and many urban residents use groundwater where piped supplies are intermittent or unavailable. This study aimed to investigate long-term changes in groundwater contamination hazards and hand-dug well water quality in two informal settlements in Kisumu city, Kenya. Buildings, pit latrines, and wells were mapped in 1999 and 2013–2014. Sanitary risk inspection and water quality testing were conducted at 51 hand-dug wells in 2002 to 2004 and 2014. Pit latrine density increased between 1999 and 2014, whilst sanitary risk scores for wells increased between 2002 to 2004 and 2014 (n = 37, Z = −1.98, p = 0.048). Nitrate levels dropped from 2004 to 2014 (n = 14, Z = −3.296, p = 0.001), but multivariate analysis suggested high rainfall in 2004 could account for this. Thermotolerant coliform counts dropped between 2004 and 2014, with this reduction significant in one settlement. Hand-dug wells had thus remained an important source of domestic water between 1999 and 2014, but contamination risks increased over this period. Water quality trends were complex, but nitrate levels were related to both sanitary risks and rainfall. Given widespread groundwater use by the urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa, the study protocol could be further refined to monitor contamination in hand-dug wells in similar settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater; water pollution; water wells; urbanization; latrines; longitudinal survey groundwater; water pollution; water wells; urbanization; latrines; longitudinal survey

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Okotto-Okotto, J.; Okotto, L.; Price, H.; Pedley, S.; Wright, J. A Longitudinal Study of Long-Term Change in Contamination Hazards and Shallow Well Quality in Two Neighbourhoods of Kisumu, Kenya. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 4275-4291.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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