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Underground Water Consumption and Public Health risks, in Metropolitan Suburbs in an Emerging City, Accra, Ghana

Kwaku D. Kessey and Afia N. Nyarko
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Kwaku D. Kessey: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi
Afia N. Nyarko: Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi

International Journal of Economics and Empirical Research (IJEER), 2015, vol. 3, issue 5, 253-261

Abstract: Purpose: Urbanisation has become a common development phenomenon in emerging countries, as urban population growth rate is high in those countries. Consequently, demand for urban utilities, especially fresh water, exceeds supply. To address the challenge of inadequate fresh water supply in homes, for household use, many property owners extract underground water in residential areas, by drilling wells. They drink, cook, bath and do their laundry from that source of water. Although that practice is common in cities in Ghana, many consumers do not know the quality, of the underground water they use in their residential areas. Methodology: The research was undertaken to examine the quality of underground water in relation to human health. A case study approach was adapted to analyze equality of underground water at Taifa, a suburb of Accra which is administratively located in Ga East Municipal Assembly in Greater Accra region. Findings: This research showed that some underground water used in many homes contain some contaminants which are hazardous to health. These pollutants include chloride, nitrate, total coli form and fecal coli form bacteria which exceeded World Health Organization (WHO) Safe Maximum Consumption Levels (SMCL). Consequently, consumers of the underground water in the study area are at risk in terms of health safety standards. For example, researches have established that nitrate as contaminants in underground water does affect the health of pregnant women and children (under six months) leading to “blue baby syndrome†while some babies are born with defects. This observation, among others, points to the fact that urban utilities, especially fresh water, development policy and management should receive serious attention in Developing Countries. Recommendations: This study open new directions for further research.

Keywords: Urbanization; Contaminant; Coli form; Underground water (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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