Assessment of water availability and accessibility for healthy and sustainable livelihoods in Sankuri and Central Divisions, Garissa County, Kenya.
MetadataShow full item record
Availability and accessibility of safe water is key to sustainable livelihoods in the world hence, poverty eradication and good health leading to agricultural and economic prosperity. Poor water availability and accessibility is a pressing problem in developing countries in Africa, therefore, understanding of water as a natural resource and human consumption commodity can help solve the problem and contribute to achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Kenya is a water scarce nation with per capita water of 650m3 below the recommended 1000m3. Water accessibility in Garissa County is a major concern, the Governments and NGOs have directed their resources and efforts to avail water to the people, but still poor water availability and accessibility persists. This study was conducted in Sankuri and Central divisions of Garissa County, Kenya. The general objective of the study was to assess availability and accessibility of water for sustainable livelihood in the study area. The study employed a descriptive research design and used clustered sampling to select the divisions due to its cost effectiveness; the sampling unit were administrative locations which were randomly sampled. The sample frame was households which were stratified and systematically sampled. A sample of 300 household heads were selected and data collection was done by use of interviews, questionnaires, observation and FGDs. Water quality testing and bacteriological analysis were carried out to assess the quality of water as per the standards by World Health Organizations(WHO)(2013). Data analysis was both quantitative and qualitative. Data from questionnaire was analysed quantitatively using SPSS, and results presented using frequency distribution tables and percentages, averages, charts and graphs; while data from FGDs and interviews was qualitatively analysed using grouping and ranking, and results presented thematically in a narrative form. Water quality was analysed at the WRMA Laboratory. According to the results, 63% of respondents were male and 37% were female attributed to cultural setup. First, the study found that the main water sources are the river, (55.6%) boreholes(45.3%) and Piped water (69.5%).The study indicates that distance, time taken between water sources and households and water quality have a direct influence on water sources availability and accessibility as (69%) of respondents cannot access water sources, majority (71%) travel long distances (1-6 km), (36.3%) take 4-6 hours fetching water, this is against WHO limits of 1km, the daily water per capita consumption was 6.6 litres below WHO limits of 25 litres, the study found out that distance affect household water sources accessibility (c2 = 25.53; df =2; p =0.000). Some water sources in Sankuri division have high arsenic levels (16μg/l), pH (8.78) and conductivity (22000μs/cm), exceeding the limit of 10μg/l for arsenic, 6.0 - 8.0 for pH and 2,500μs/cm for conductivity by WHO (2013), therefore the study found that water quantity and quality have a direct impact on livelihoods (c2 = 37.783; df = 2; p =0.000). Thirdly, bacteriological analysis indicated the presence E.coli in water sources exceeding the limit of 0/100ML by WHO (2013), causing water borne diseases. Hence, the result indicated that accessibility of quality water has a direct influence on health (c2 = 32.783; df = 2; p =0.000). Hence, the stated hypotheses were rejected. The study concluded that accessibility to water sources is affected by distance and water quality from households; sustainable livelihoods depends on water quantity and quality with implications on health, environment and livelihoods; and water sources are contaminated due to the presence of high levels of E.coli. The study recommended that the National and County governments, development partners and NGOs should invest in other alternative sources of water, establish polices and mechanisms for water supply and distribution to improve livelihoods, and conduct campaigns and awareness to educate the community on good hygiene practices such as constructing and using latrines for faecal disposal to reduce water borne diseases.