Associations between water sources, socio-demographic characteristics and household drinking water quality are described in a representative sample of six coastal districts of Ghana's Central Region. Thirty-six enumeration areas (EAs) were randomly chosen from a representative survey of 90 EAs in rural, semi-urban and urban residence strata. In each EA, 24 households were randomly chosen for water quality sampling and socio-demographic interview. Escherichia coli per 100 ml H2O was quantified using the IDEXX Colilert® system and multi-stage regression models estimated cross-sectional associations between water sources, sanitation and socio-demographic factors. Almost three quarters, 74%, of the households have >2 E. coli /100 ml H2O. Tap water has significantly lower E. coli levels compared with surface or rainwater and well water had the highest levels. Households with a water closet toilet have significantly lower E. coli compared with those using pit latrines or no toilets. Household size is positively associated, and a possessions index is negatively associated, with E. coli. Variations in community and household socio-demographic and behavioural factors are key determinants of drinking water quality. These factors should be included in planning health education associated with investments in water systems.
Community and household determinants of water quality in coastal Ghana
Stephen T. McGarvey, Justin Buszin, Holly Reed, David C. Smith, Zarah Rahman, Catherine Andrzejewski, Kofi Awusabo-Asare, Michael J. White; Community and household determinants of water quality in coastal Ghana. J Water Health 1 September 2008; 6 (3): 339–349. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wh.2008.057
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