The impact of communication of water quality information on awareness creation within primary schools In Nakuru Municipality, Nakuru County
Kagwiria, Tabitha Rutere
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Nakuru municipality has serious water resource problem brought about by contamination and pollution of the drinking water. The Water source within most of the schools in Nakuru municipality is from piped water mains, rain / boreholes, roof catchment, dams and pans and shallow wells. This study was on impact of communication of water quality information on awareness creation within primary schools in Nakuru Municipality. The purpose of the study was to find out whether information on water quality communicated to the schools by Sustainable Community Environmental Programme (SCEP) a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) had improved awareness on water quality, and thereby reduce diseases that affect humans emanating from poor quality water. The objective of the study was to determine the impact of communication of water quality information on awareness creation levels of pupils in Nakuru Municipality, to find out the level of awareness on water quality to pupils and to ascertain whether the awareness creation had improved the suitability of water for consumption in the schools. The target study groups were primary schools within Nakuru Municipality that were identified by SCEP to have poor quality water and had functional environmental clubs. Data was collected by use of interview schedules, focused group discussions and by use of questionnaires which were administered to environmental club members in upper primary schools, environmental club patrons and school management committee representatives. Data collected was analyzed by qualitative and quantitative methodologies using percentages, means and frequency distributions The reliability of the main source of water (piped water) from Nakuru Municipality to the schools was found to be moderate at 61.9% while not reliable at 29.9%.The main sources of pollution to water in the schools was sewage overflows at 40%. industrial discharge at 20%,and the least was poor storage of water and oil spillage from garages each at 3.3% The water quality awareness had been moderately been undertaken (63%). The study concluded that the i) The information on water quality communicated to pupils in primary schools in Nakuru Municipality improved their level of awareness ii) The level of awareness on water quality to the pupils in the identified schools however is still low. iii) The awareness creation has improved the suitability of water for consumption in the schools. The study recommended that i)The stakeholders in the schools and communities should raise awareness on importance of treatment of drinking water through empowering of environmental club members and offering administrative support.ii)The schools should source for suitable clean water storage facilities, invest in rain water harvesting facilities so as to acquire water during the dry season.iii)The schools should also acquire more hand washing points to improve hygiene of pupils and enhance good water practices like closing of taps. iv)the policy makers should come up with better policies of water quality usage in schools.