Monitoring groundwater quality in a Namibian rural settlement

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Drinking water in rural areas is often contaminated due to poor sanitation practices, which cause problems such as diarrhea, polio and cholera. Rural water quality is a critical issue in Namibia because a great deal of the population lives in rural settlements. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of nitrate and some microbial parameters in borehole waters in 8 rural settlements in Hardap, Namibia. The tests were conducted in 2016 and the results compared to tests on the same boreholes in 2011. Parameters were determined using standard procedures. Water infrastructure and sanitation practices were also examined. Water parameters were compared to NamWater safe water drinking guidelines. The results revealed that sanitation practices need to be improved to avoid health risks. High levels of nitrate and coliform bacteria were identified as the most threatening contaminants that were determined.Water quality has deteriorated in these settlements since 2011, when only two of the boreholes yielded water unfit for drinking. In 2016 the number of unfit boreholes had increased to four. Systematic monitoring of groundwater quality, workshops on public health and sanitation practices, and improved sanitation facilities are recommended.
Groundwater, Microbial parameters, Nitrate
Lewis, E., & Claasen, T. 92018). Monitoring groundwater quality in a Namibian rural settlement, 13(2), 312-320.