High enteric bacterial contamination of drinking water in Jigjiga city, Eastern Ethiopia
Background: The high prevalence of diarrheal disease among children and infants can be traced due to the use of unsafe water and unhygienic practices. The overall concept adopted for microbiological quality is that no water intended for human consumption shall contain Escherichia coli per 100 ml sample.
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess household water handling and hygienic practices and to determine bacteriological quality of drinking water from different sources in Jigjiga city.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess bacteriological quality of drinking water in Jigjiga city from May-August, 2013. Both simple random and convenient sampling techniques were applied to select 238 households to assess water handling and hygienic practices, and 125 water samples to assess bacteriological quality of drinking water respectively. The water samples were collected from household water container, pipeline, water reservoir, ‘Beyollie’, and main sources.
Easily isolated bacteria called coliforms were used as indicator organisms of human and other animals’ fecal contamination status of drinking water. Data were summarized using descriptive and analytical statistics. Chi-square (χ2) and logistic regression tests were used and p<0.05 was considered as cut off value for statistical significance.
Results: Overall, 71.2%(n=89) of water samples were contaminated by one or more bacterial species of E.coli, Shigella Sp, Salmonella Sp, and Vibrio sp. Particularly, 65(52%), 10(8%), 9(7.2%), and 8(6.4%) were contaminated by E.coli, Shigella sp, Salmonella sp, and Vibrio sp, respectively. On the other hand, 20% of the households and pipeline water samples had a fecal coliform count of 150 and above. Placement of water drinking utensils had a statistically significant association with illiterate education (p=0.01, AOR=5.47, 95% CI: (1.31, 22.78)) and male household head (p=0.02, AOR=2.11, 95% CI: (1.10, 4.05)).
Conclusions: The majorities of drinking water sources were highly contaminated by Enterobacteriaceae. Regular bacteriological water quality control mechanisms need to be in place to ensure bacteriological safety of drinking water. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2016;30(3):118-128]
Keywords: Contamination, drinking water, households, enteric bacteria, Jigjiga