Households Drinking Water Sources and Treatment Methods Options in a Regional Irrigation Scheme

Emmy C. Kerich


Access to safe and clean drinking water is a major challenge for the people living around the Ahero Irrigation Scheme (AIS), Kenya. Water sources in the area are constantly and increasingly polluted by agrochemicals like pesticides from rice farming. 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is an herbicide extensively used in AIS. The neurotoxic, immunosuppressive, cytotoxic, and hepatoxic effects of (2,4-D) have been well documented. Residues of (2,4-D) have been documented in ponds, rivers, lakes and irrigation canals. Therefore, this study surveyed agrochemicals used in AIS, the drinking water source for the residents, and finally, the water treatment option for the obtained water in the year 2013. The study established that (52.8%) of the farmers used hand-weeding and 20.8% of them used (2,4-D) for weed control. According to the findings, the most preferred water source was lined improved well (47.2%), followed by irrigation canal (22.2%), and rain water (2.8%). The most commonly used method of water treatment was chlorination (45.8%). Spearman’s coefficient of correlation ( ) revealed that there was a positive correlation between the two variables ( =0.145, 72, p=0.224>0.05). As  is positive, it implies that the type of treatment given to water depends on the source of the water. Despite the use of chlorinate by almost half of the residents, some of them (22.2%) do not treat their water at all, which may pose a risk of getting water-related diseases. Furthermore, despite a proportional number of residents obtaining their water from irrigation canals, all of them do not have an appropriate method/s for treating water contaminated with organic pollutants such as herbicides. There is a need to promote appropriate drinking water treatment method/s in the study area to prevent water-related diseases at the family level.


Doi: 10.28991/HEF-2020-01-01-02

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Drinking Water; Ahero Irrigation Scheme; 2,4-D; Water Sources; Water Treatment Methods.


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DOI: 10.28991/HEF-2020-01-01-02


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