The Perception of Water Quality and Related Diseases in Rural Areas of the Department of Tiassalé, Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa

Adidjatou Ouattara, Alassane Meite, Theodor Dally, Howele Ouattara, Seraphin Kati-Coulibaly
2019 European Scientific Journal  
One of critical public health concerns in many developing countries today is water quality and the risks associated with waterborne diseases. Many research works that have studied about factors contributing to water pollution have not considered the perception on drinking water quality and health risk in the rural area of the department of Tiassalé. This study therefore focuses on evaluating the level of perception of households living in the rural area of Tiassalé. The study data were
more » ... through interviews from a total of 600 respondents with structured questionnaire. The majority of the respondents (78.2%) used water from hand dug wells for drinking purpose. According to 77.7 % of respondents, water from the wells was safe for drinking. Around 9.3% had a degree of knowledge about the sources of well water contamination. Majority of the respondents (87.3 %) did not treat their water. About 80% of residents mentioned that they had not experienced any negative effects from drinking the well water. Variables associated with perception of drinking water quality included educational status, use of at least one method 137 of water treatment, and awareness of health risks of drinking contaminated water. The results of this study indicated that knowledge on water quality and health risks were poor. Introduction Water is a natural resource whose availability in sufficient quantity and acceptable quality contributes to the maintenance of health. Although 91% coverage of drinking water has been achieved globally, and 6.6 billion people have access to improved water sources, much of the world's population, especially those living in rural areas, continue to consume water of poor microbiological quality. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, 319 million people live without access to an improved water source and 102 million people still use surface water. Such type of drinking water is contaminated with heavy metals and chemicals. In addition, the bacterial and other pathogenic contents of this poor-quality, contaminated water, lead to many types of infections known to affect people who consume them. These water-related diseases, such as diarrhea, urinary infection, food poisoning, cholera, vomiting, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, typhoid, hepatitis, and more, which exist not only in undeveloped countries but also in developed countries, account for high mortality rate. In Côte d'Ivoire, water issues are still a major problem for the population, especially those living in rural areas where only 65% have access to drinking water (INS, 2012). In the department of Tiassalé, the problem of water pollution is growing at an alarming rate. Although a number of reports have been published on drinking water, however, very few studies have been carried out regarding the perception of drinking water quality and water borne diseases. Ensuring that the population is adequately informed on the acceptable drinking water quality are important mechanisms in the protection of public health, especially when they have been properly warned against any form of exposure to contaminated water. Regarding water crisis situations in particular, communication with the public is essential. Public perceptions of water quality have a direct influence on behaviors (Nsiah-Kumi, 2008) . There are a number of studies which indicate that the people's water perception is the main indicator for the provision of satisfactory water. These studies also suggest that the quality of water is improved based on public perception. In addition, WHO guidelines are made accordingly. In fact, perceptions of safe water have been widely recognized as having significant implications for the development of appropriate programs and policies to
doi:10.19044/esj.2019.v15n27p136 fatcat:ljic3pzw7nhq7j4sw53txa2r6i