Effects of Community Hygiene and Water Handling Practices on Drinking Quality in Mpondwe Lhubitiha Town Council, Western Uganda

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Kampala International University
Water safety and quality are fundamental to human development and well-being. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of community hygiene and water handling practices on drinking water quality in Mpondwe Lhubiriha Town Council, Kasese District, Western Uganda. Sixteen samples from different water sources and storage vessels in households were analyzed for physicochemical and microbiological Quality during wet and dry season as described in UNBS Portable water quality analysis guidelines. Characterization of Community hygiene, household drinking water handling practices and risk of water contamination was determined by Qualitative methodology. The study findings revealed that community hygiene and water handling practices had a direct effect on water quality where 97.70% of respondents do not practice household water treatment methods. PH, E.C, TDS, temperature, and total hardness were within permissible limits of WHO standard while there was a variation in Dissolved oxygen and nitrates values. Microbial analysis results showed a variation in Total coli and Escherichia coli above UNBS standard this could be due to cross contamination, poor water handling practices where some respondents (41%) had no specific cleaning schedule for water vessels, most respondents (54.00%) were using same vessels for water collection and storage as well as factors from already determined household sanitary risk factor of 39.00-90.00% while Salmonella spp. and Enterococcus bacteria was within limits of WHO standard. This research also revealed that Total coliform and E. coli have a strong positive correlation with Nitrate presence in the water samples (r=0.412, p=0.008) and Nitrates (r=0.557, p=0.000) respectively. Water from some sources and households in this Town Council is not safe for drinking and domestic use. Therefore, should promote good community hygiene, water handling practices and appropriate household water treatment practices to prevent Drinking water Quality variations from the set WHO standard.
A Dissertation Submitted to the School of Natural and Applied Sciences in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Award of Master’s Degree in Environmental Management of Kampala International University