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Seminar Paper on Water Borne Diseases, Causes, Prevention And Control


Despite numerous efforts by government at various levels and other agencies interested in water and its safety, waterborne diseases are still a major public health and environmental concern. The huge investment towards water research, although worth the spending, has not yielded the much expected result as waterborne diseases continue to plague developing countries with Africa and Asia having the worse hit. The unavailability of pipe-borne water and the dependence of rural dwellers on surface waters which are often contaminated with faecal materials are undoubtedly the major causes of the rising prevalence of waterborne diseases. Water availability and poor hygienic practices amongst these rural dwellers are also of paramount concern as they play significant roles in the spread of water-washed diseases. Also, poor environmental practice which encourages the breeding of insects and other forms of vectors within residential areas contribute to the increasing prevalence of waterborne diseases. This seminar paper focuses on waterborne diseases, the causes, prevention and control of these diseases in Warri.





Efforts to assuage poverty cannot be complete if access to good water and sanitation systems are not part. In the 2000, 189 nations adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and from that, the Millennium Development Goals were made. Goal 4, which aims at reducing child mortality by two thirds for children under five, is the focus of this study. Clean water and sanitation considerably lessen water-related diseases which kill thousands of children every day (UN, 2006). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1.1 billion people lacked access to an enhanced water supply in 2002, and 2.3 billion people got illfrom diseases caused by unhygienic water. Each year 1.8 million people die from diarrhoea diseases, and 90% of these deaths are of children under five years (WHO, 2004).

Nigeria Water Company Limited had traditionally been the major stakeholder in the provision of safe water and sanitation facilities. Since the 1960’s the GWCL has focused its activity in the urban areas at the expense of rural areas (GWCL, 2007) and thus, rural communities in the Warri LGA are no exception. According to the Nigeria 2003 Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire (CWIQ II) Survey Report (GSS, 2005), roughly 97% in Abuja, 86% in Lagos and 94% in Rivers state owned pipe-borne water. Once more, the report show that a few households do not own any toilet facilities and depend on the bush for their toilet needs, that is 2.1%, 7.3%, and 5% for Abuja, Lagos, and Rivers state correspondingly. Access to safe sanitation, improved water and improved waste disposal systems are more of an urban than rural occurrence in Nigeria. In the rural poor households, only 9.2% have safe sanitation, 21.1% use improved waste disposal method and 63.0% have access to improved water. The major diseases prevalent in Nigeria are malaria, yellow fever, schistosomiasis (bilharzias), typhoid and diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is of critical concern since it has been recognized as the second most universal disease treated at clinics and one of the major contributors to infant mortality (UNICEF, 2004). The infant mortality rate in Nigeria stood at about 55 deaths per 1,000 live births (CIA, 2006).


2.  The problem statement

Warri LGA in the Southern Region is home to many large scale industrial companies. Towns and villages in the area have been affected by mining, forestry and agricultural activities for over 120 years (BGL EIS, 2005). Because of this development, the local environment has been subjected to varying degrees of degradation. For example, water quality analysis carried out in 1989 by the former Canadian Bogoso Resources (CBR) showed that water samples had total coliform bacteria in excess of 16 colonies per 100ml (BGL EIS, 2005). Most of the water and sanitation programmes executed in the LGA exerted little positive impact and thus, water borne diseases are still very high in the towns and villages (See Appendix F and Appendix G).

However, in order to solve any problem it is important to appreciate the issues that contribute to it; after all, identifying the problem in itself is said to be a solution in disguise. Numerous health impact research have evidently recognized that the upgrading of water supply and sanitation alone is generally required but not adequate to attain broad health effects if personal and domestic hygiene are not given equivalent prominence (Scherlenlieb, 2003). The troubles of scarce water and safe sanitation provisions in developing countries have previously been dealt with by researchers for quite some time. However, until recent times they were mostly considered as technical and/or economic problems. Even rural water and sanitation issues are repeatedly dealt with from an entirely engineering point of view, with only a simple reference to social or demographic aspects.


3.  Objectives of study

  1. To assess the quality of stored household drinking water
  2. To establish the extent to which sanitation behaviour is affected by household socio- cultural demographic factors like age and education level of the head
  3. To investigate the occurrence of diarrhoea among young children (0-59 months old) in the households and
  4. To identify and recommend good intervention methods to eliminate or reduce the outbreak of diseases and improve


4. limitations of the study

The study was self-financed and that made it difficult for the researcher to cover more households for water quality sampling. Most of the study communities had very bad roads and that made transportation expensive. Also, some respondents took the researchers for community and environmental health workers and were unwilling to cooperate. They only accepted to respond after researchers explained the project and showed student ID cards.


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