Domestic Water Supply, Sanitation and Health in Rural Ghana: Perspectives from Nkwanta District
This paper examines the health implications of inadequate water supply and sanitation in Nkwanta district. A sample of 200 respondents was drawn from eight communities in the district using a systematic random sampling technique. Data collection tools were questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions. The research found that inadequate water supply and sanitation, together with socio-economic and cultural conditions, has robbed the people of Nkwanta of good health. Diseases associated with water and sanitation still top the top ten causes of morbidity and mortality. A Chi-square analysis shows a significant association between water sources and guinea worm and diarrhea. Skin diseases were however found to be associated with inadequate water for personal hygiene. The research notes that adequate provision of potable water and safe disposal of excreta and other waste are fundamental to reducing the myriad of health problems that the people in the district are saddled with. This must, however, be supported by vigorous public health education programmes. For the success of water and sanitation programmes an integrated approach involving poverty reduction, women's empowerment, basic education, health care and widening employment opportunities is recommended.