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J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng. 2019 Apr 9:1-11. doi: 10.1080/10934529.2019.1596702. [Epub ahead of print]

Prevalence of water-related diseases and groundwater (drinking-water) contamination in the suburban municipality of Mont Ngafula, Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Author information

1
a Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science , University of Kinshasa , Kinshasa , Democratic Republic of the Congo.
2
b Department F.-A. Forel for Environmental and Aquatic Sciences, Faculty of science, Institute of Environmental Sciences , University of Geneva , Geneva , Switzerland.
3
c Water, Environment and Human Development Initiative (WEHDI) , Genthod , Switzerland.

Abstract

An epidemiological survey conducted among users of water points and medical institutions in the N'djili Kilambu neighborhood of Kinshasa in Democratic Republic of the Congo, indicates that waterborne diseases have already affected more than 60% of the patients admitted to local clinics between 2013 and 2017. In order to raise public and political awareness about this hazardous health issue resulting from the lack of safely managed sanitation systems, this study investigates the microbial quality of drinking water from local water resources. Water samples were collected from nine wells and streams used as drinking sources, and analyzed for Fecal Indicator Bacteria (FIB), including Escherichia coli, Enterococcus, and Total Coliforms. Physicochemical parameters (pH, electrical conductivity, O2, and soluble ions (Na+, K+, PO43-, SO42-, NO3-, NO2-) were also analyzed. Except for NO3- and NO2-, the average concentrations of the physicochemical parameters and dissolved ions generally meet the guidelines for drinking/domestic water quality. By contrast, the results reveal high levels of FIB in the water samples collected during both dry and wet seasons. The contamination is significantly higher during the wet season compared to dry season, due to increased runoff, open defecation practices, and more frequent overflow of onsite sanitation systems and septic tanks.

KEYWORDS:

Groundwater; SDG 6; cholera; drinking water quality; epidemiology; fecal indicator bacteria; human risk; pollution; prevention; tropical conditions

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