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Characteristics of the open drains network varied by neighborhood (Table 4). Bukom had the densest drain network, followed by Alajo and Shiabu and finally Old Fadama with the fewest drains per square kilometer. Calculated drain density was consistent with how frequently drains were reported near households in the household survey (Table 3). In Alajo, Bukom, and Shiabu, drain construction was primarily carried out by the city; however, in Old Fadama, all but one drain was ecologically formed or constructed by citizens. Drain size was generally a reflection of construction. Drains built by the city were typically medium in size and deep, while drains that were ecologically formed tend to be wider and shallow. As such, over 50% of the drains present in Alajo, Bukom, and Shiabu were medium in size. Extra-large drains that were originally rivers or lagoons bordered all neighborhoods except Bukom. Drain mapping revealed that, excluding these few extra-large drains that bordered the communities, drains rarely flowed between neighborhoods. Old Fadama had the largest percentage of drainage network with no cover; over half the network was completely uncovered.

Table 4

Observed drain characteristics by neighborhood

 AlajoBukomOld FadamaShiabu
Linear meters of drains (m) 30,679 10,652 8,393 28,999 
Drain density (m/km219,263 31,715 15,706 19,205 
Cover1 (%) 
 No cover 33 55 25 
 Cover by citizens 54 80 45 53 
 Cover by city 33 19 65 
Construction typea,b (%) 
 Ecological 14 65 21 
 Formal by citizens 19 20 51 
 Formal by city 70 80 75 
Sizea (%) 
 Small (<0.5 m across) 10 28 
 Medium (0.5–1 m across) 52 57 32 73 
 Large (1–3 m across) 25 15 33 10 
 Extra-largec (>3 m across) 16 30 
Water levela,d (%) 
 Dry 13 10 
 Low 36 53 22 44 
 Medium 51 28 36 39 
 High 10 37 
 Unable to see 
 AlajoBukomOld FadamaShiabu
Linear meters of drains (m) 30,679 10,652 8,393 28,999 
Drain density (m/km219,263 31,715 15,706 19,205 
Cover1 (%) 
 No cover 33 55 25 
 Cover by citizens 54 80 45 53 
 Cover by city 33 19 65 
Construction typea,b (%) 
 Ecological 14 65 21 
 Formal by citizens 19 20 51 
 Formal by city 70 80 75 
Sizea (%) 
 Small (<0.5 m across) 10 28 
 Medium (0.5–1 m across) 52 57 32 73 
 Large (1–3 m across) 25 15 33 10 
 Extra-largec (>3 m across) 16 30 
Water levela,d (%) 
 Dry 13 10 
 Low 36 53 22 44 
 Medium 51 28 36 39 
 High 10 37 
 Unable to see 

aAll percentages are based on total drain length.

bEcological drains were dirt lined with no formal planning. Formal drains were cement or stone lined and were intentionally constructed.

cAll extra-large drains were originally rivers or lagoons.

dWater levels recorded were dry, low (mostly dry, small stream, not all contents are suspended in water), medium (contents are suspended in water, bottom of drain covered with water), high (obviously high water level, near top or overflowing), or unable to see.

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