Factors Responsible for Domestic Water Contamination

  • N Idika NIMR Yaba, Lagos
  • Tolu Odugbemi College of Medicine University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos
  • EE Ekanem College of Medicine University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos
  • FT Ogunsola College of Medicine University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos


Many deaths occurring in the developing countries are due to water borne diseases which are usually associated with water related behaviour such as improper disposal of faecal material as well as improper storage of water. This study was therefore designed to identify the factors that influenced domestic water contamination in our rural communities and recommend some intervention measures that can reduce this high morbidity and mortality due to diarrhoeal diseases in Nigeria. Water samples from the water sources serving six rural communities in three local government areas of Lagos State as well as water samples from 308 households from the six communities were collected for bacteriological examination. Demographic and socio-economic characteristics, toilet facilities and water storage facilities available in the households were recorded in a structured questionnaire and analysed with X2 and ANOVA statistical packages.

Two out of the 12 (16.7%) water sources (both bore-holes), were potable and the others were contaminated with feacal bacteria. A low percentage of households in each of the six communities had potable drinking water. Many toilets facilities (42.9%) were situated less than 10 meters away from the households. Only a few households (6 .1% ) purified their drinking water. The water source, toilet facilities and occupation of the fathers in the households had a statistically significant positive association (p<0.05) with the domestic water contamination level whereas age, level of education and overcrowding did not.

The study recommends provision of less contaminated sources of water such as boreholes as a source of supply to communities and introduction of programmes that will promote hygienic practices amongst the communities.

Jnl of Nigerian Infection Control Association Vol.4(1) 2001: 1-5

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-1716