Water supplies in some rural communities around Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria 2. The impact on water-related diseases

  • AA Opara Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria


Two traditional surface waters and one piped supply around Calabar, Nigeria were examined to reveal the community water use patterns and the impact on some water-related diseases. Using questionnaires, it was shown that some communities trekked long distances (up to 5km) to reach their supply source. The quantity of water collected per day in each of five rural sources was inadequate (> 6 buckets or Ca 90 litres). Besides, all the traditional sources were not available all year round, forcing users to trek longer distances for alternatives supplies. Only 4.4% of the rural water users subjected them to any further treatment such as boiling or filtration. Fetching water was the preoccupation of children and they were the worst hit by the water-related diseases such as diarrhoea/dysentery, stomachache, worms and scabies/craw-craw. About 84% of the respondents were dissatisfied with their supplies. Deaths due apparently to water related diseases occurred among 6.3% of the respondents during the twelve months preceding the study. The overall impact was loss of school hours/days, loss of labour and general disencouragement. The community served with pipe treated water fared better in all respects.

Keywords: rural water supplies, water-related diseases

Tropical Freshwater Biology 2003/2004 Vol. 12/13: 93-98

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0795-0101