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ABSTRACT
Both water pollution and water scarcity are increasing global problems and
particularly serious challenges for Africa. According to the World Health
Organization, more people lack access to safe water in Africa than anywhere else in
the world. To meet the growing demand for water worldwide, dams and irrigation
systems are often built, particularly to provide water for agricultural needs. However,
dams, especially large dams, may promote the spread of water-associated diseases.
Completed in 1982, the Kiri Dam reservoir in Adamawa State, northeastern Nigeria,
supports the water needs, which at times includes drinking, for many people living
around the reservoir. To assess overall water quality and presence of disease
indicators in the Kiri reservoir, and to establish baseline data for future monitoring,
I collected water samples (near-shore and open-water sites) in October 2016.
I evaluated the samples for physico-chemical and biological characteristics and
compared some values to national and international standards for drinking water. I
found microorganisms that indicate contamination, such as Escherichia coli, in all
near-shore samples and eggs of parasitic worms, including Schistosoma hematobium
and most likely Echinococcus granulosus, in most near-shore samples. Aside from
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average turbidity (727.4 NTU), most of the physico-chemical parameters I measured
did not exceed international standards. Overall, I found that the Kiri reservoir is not
heavily polluted; however, some important parameters were not measured in this
study, including heavy metals, nitrates, and pesticides. Future research should
concentrate on these parameters, indicator bacteria, and helminths, and a monitoring
program should be established.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
CERTIFICATION…………………………………………………………………………………………..ii
READERS’ APPROVAL……………………………………………………………………………….iii
DEDICATION……………………………………………………………………………………………….iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………………………………………………………………………v
ABSTRACT…………………………………………………………………………………………………vii
LIST OF TABLES ………………………………………………………………………………………….x
LIST OF FIGURES………………………………………………………………………………………..xi
CHAPTER 1…………………………………………………………………………………………………1
INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
Diseases & Water Quality…………………………………………………………………………… 5
Dams, Reservoirs, & Disease……………………………………………………………………. …8
Case of Nigeria……………………………………………………………………………………….. .10
HYPOTHESES ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
AIMS & OBJECTIVES ……………………………………………………………………………. 16
CHAPTER 2 ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
MATERIALS & METHODS…………………………………………………………………….. 17
Study Site………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17
Sampling…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
CHAPTER 3 ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 24
RESULTS………………………………………………………………………………………………. 24
CHAPTER 4 ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 28
DISCUSSION………………………………………………………………………………………… 28
CHAPTER 5 ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 32
CONCLUSION………………………………………………………………………………………. 32
REFERENCES ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 33
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LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Some neglected tropical diseases caused by parasitic worms (helminths)
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..7
Table 2. Physico-chemical and biological parameters tested in this study, site of test
(on-site or in the laboratory), as well as methods and materials used…………………..22
Table 3. Maximum values for drinking water for parameters measured and tested in
this study………………………………………………………………………………………………………23
Table 4. Final sampling sites, number of samples, and measurement depths………..24
Table 5. Sampling locations and measured physico-chemical parameters from this
study…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….26
Table 6. Near-shore sampling locations, detected bacteria in samples, and results
by method (media)…………………………………………………………………………………………27
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LIST OF FIGURES
Fig. 1. Decline in volume of Lake Chad from 1963 to 2007………………………………….2
Fig. 2A. Countries with populations that have access to improved water sources,
in percentage (%) of total population in 2004……………………………………………………..4
Fig. 2B. Countries with population that have no access to sanitation, in percentage
(%) of total population in 2004………………………………………………………………………….4
Fig. 3. Two major dams occur along the Gongola River, part of the Upper Benue
River catchment……………………………………………………………………………….17
Fig. 4. Kiri reservoir is surrounded by settlements whose residents engage in
farming, livestock rearing, and fishing……………………………………………………………..18
Fig. 5. Longitudinal zonation of reservoirs and water-quality conditions generally
found in these zones……………………………………………………………………………………….21
Fig. 6. Life cycle of Echinococcus granulosus………………………………………………….30
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CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Essential for all life on Earth, water is under threat globally. Both the quantity and
quality of water are of serious concern to global leaders, government officials, urban
planners, and rural communities, among others. Water is a topic of special concern to
public health professionals, who observe, study, and attempt to resolve water quality
and scarcity issues affecting millions of people on the planet. Water quality and
scarcity present an increasingly complex challenge given the effects of climate
change. For example, in the future some regions may experience increased or
decreased precipitation and higher temperatures – leading to increased flooding or
droughts. These conditions can further degrade water quality and worsen water
pollution (Bates et al., 2008).
In Africa, as human populations rapidly expand, the demand for water increases;
however, water sources are becoming scarcer. Approximately 40% of Africans live
in dry sub-humid, semi-arid, and arid regions. The amount of water accessible per
individual in Africa is far beneath the global average and is declining; annual percapital availability of water is 4,000 cubic meters compared to a global average of
6,500 cubic meters (UNEP, 2010).
One example is the near-disappearance of Lake Chad, which borders four countries:
Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. Lake Chad is the biggest lake in the Chad
Basin and one of the giant water bodies in Africa. Due to high demand for water for
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agriculture, demand from growing human populations, and the effects of climate
change, the lake has contracted dramatically. Between 1963 and 2001, the surface
area of Lake Chad declined from 25,000 km2
to less than 1,350km2
(Coe & Foley,
2001) (Fig. 1).
In addition to increasing water scarcity in Africa and globally, water quality is a
growing public health and environmental problem, especially given the role of water
in human health, agriculture, industry, etc. Impacts of water quality are most
significant in low- to middle-income countries. Many people live in countries that
are ill equipped to cope with public health and environmental crises related to water.
A large number (35%) of health-care facilities in low- and middle-income countries
have no water supply or soap for hand washing, and only 19% of these facilities have
improved sanitation (WHO, 2015).
Fig. 1. Decline in volume of Lake Chad from 1963 to 2007.
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Diarrhea remains a major contributor to childhood mortality and morbidity,
especially in sub-Saharan Africa (Bates et al., 2008). According to the World Health
Organization (WHO, 2015), diarrhea caused by lack of access to safe drinking water,
poor sanitation, or poor hygiene habits kills more than 840,000 people annually. This
does not account for deaths due to such water-borne diseases as cholera, dysentery,
and typhoid. Additionally, fecal matter contaminates water sources on which at least
1.8 billion people rely for drinking (WHO, 2015).
Regarding access to clean water, there has been progress, however. In 2010, the
Millennium Development Goal related to drinking water (MDG 7) was achieved –
the proportion of people globally without sustainable access to safe water was cut in
half (WHO, 2015). Nevertheless, many African populations still lack access to
improved water sources (Fig. 2A), and millions of people around the world have
access only to severely polluted or contaminated drinking water sources. This
problem is especially potent in Africa, where more than 50% of the total population
in many countries lacks access to sanitation (Fig. 2B).
In Africa, even where boreholes and water sanitation facilities are available, they
may not be properly maintained or managed. Due to the high demand for water,
these water sources may become polluted and may not be tested as often as
necessary. Poverty and lack of alternative water sources often force people to use or
drink water even when it is contaminated. When water is scarce, people tend to use
whatever source is available, even if the quality is poor. For example, Okoro et al.
(2015) reported that residents from a town in the semi-arid region of northeastern
Nigeria buy water from water vendors, collect water from unsafe/unimproved

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