Citizen Science, Treatment and Compliance Monitoring of Microbial Water Quality In Namibia
Namibia has experienced challenges in the provision of drinking water to its population. A combination of various solutions should be explored to provide drinking water to the population. In this study, a combination of the raw water treatment with the Grifaid® filters and the compliance monitoring of microbial quality using the hydrogensulphide test kit was tested in two villages in Northern Namibia and one informal settlement in central Windhoek. The efficiency of treatment by site operators
... as limited as 100 % of samples taken at two of the sampling sites were positive for faecal contamination. Only at the Windhoek sampling site was the treatment of raw water by site operators partially successful, as 67 % of the treated water samples taken were negative for faecal contamination. Concentrations of faecal coliforms in the control samples ranged from below 0 to 6 CFUs/100 mL, with the correspondence rates with the H2S kit test ranging from 20 to 80 %. Recontamination of the water after treatment is the most likely cause of the positive signal in the H2S kit. The site operators found the Grifaid® filters easy to use, but stressed that proper training is required for operating the filters. The users stated that the use of the Grifaid® filters are only suitable as a short-term solution in drinking water provision to the target communities. Future research will have to focus on the testing of the chemical and physical characteristics of raw and treated water; and more detailed examination of the microbial composition of the water samples will have to be conducted. In addition, the citizen-science strategy will have to be modified to assist the community in preventing recontamination of the treated water.