Environmental health situation of three rural communities living in the immediate vicinity of Ebrié Lagoon, Côte d’Ivoire
In order to update on the state of the environment, a cross-sectional survey was conducted in three rural areas (Layo, Ahua and N’djem) in the front of Ebrié lagoon, to identify risk behaviors threatening the stability of this lagoon and causing some recurrent diseases among the population. This study revealed a lack of systems for drinking water supply as well as wastewater and solid wastes management in the three villages. It was observed that 75.7% of the households used boreholes and 24.3% used wells as their main source of drinking water. Meanwhile 37.9% of households practiced open defecation. Traditional showers were used by 70.4% of households and 29.6% used the lagoon for their shower. The majority households (94.9%) disposed their wastewater into the environment. For the storage of solid wastes, 61.2% of households did so in nature and 38.8% in the lagoon. About 84.3% of households were bathing in the Ebrié lagoon while 75.9% defecating in it. Furthermore, 36.8% of the surveyed households used lagoon waters for many activities (bathing, washing clothes and dishes), while 59.4% considered that the lagoon was polluted. Up to 60.6% of households linked the pollution of lagoon to the occurrence of diseases. The most recurring diseases were dermatoses and water-borne illness like malaria, diarrhea and typhoid fever.
Preventive measures such as the construction of adequate sanitation facilities and health education campaigns should be taken by the authorities to prevent the proliferation of these infectious diseases in the rural population in the future.
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