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Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management
World Bank assisted National Agricultural Research Project (NARP) - University of Port Harcourt
ISSN: 1119-8362
Vol. 20, No. 2, 2016, pp. 320-324
Bioline Code: ja16038
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2016, pp. 320-324

 en On-site Assessment of Environmental and Sanitary Qualities of Rainwater Harvesting System (RWH) in a Rural Community in Benin City, Nigeria


Around fifty percent of individuals living in underdeveloped countries lack safe drinking water and sanitation. Occasionally their water sources get contaminated with their waste leading to an elevated level of distress. The improvement of water supply, sanitation, hygiene and management of water resources can hugely prevent up to one-tenth of the global disease burden. On-site assessment of environmental and sanitary qualities of rainwater harvesting system (RWH) in households was carried out using a structured questionnaire. The structural assessment of the rainwater harvesting system showed that corrugated iron sheet was the roof type used in all sites surveyed. Also all the rainwater harvesting (RWH) system surveyed was found to have gutters, although the condition of the gutters varied: good (15%), fair (65%) and poor (20%). The harvested rainwater reservoir was mainly made of concrete (90%) with subsurface submerge in the ground. On-site assessment of the sanitary location of the RWH system showed that 5% were located near a septic tank and another 5% in flooded area. The harvested rainwater was used for several domestic purposes including drinking. All respondent agreed that they use rainwater for washing while 10% of the respondent agreed that they drink the harvested rainwater. The maintenance culture of RWH system owners was investigated. Sixty-five percent (65%) of respondent agreed that they have first diverters devise installed in the rainwater harvesting system. Ten percent (10%) of respondent has never cleaned their storage reservoir. Of the remaining respondents, 50% cleaned their reservoir once a year while 25% clean twice a year. The rainwater harvesting system in the study area lack basic environmental and structural requirements which pose potential health risk to individual who rely on the source of water for potable use.

Water shortage; Health risk; Water quality; Roof-top; Rainwater

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