A team from Aquaya Institute and the University of Ghana, on Thursday, July, 28 officers of Asutifi North District Assembly to report findings from water quality sampling conducted on water from households, communities, schools, and Healthcare facilities in the district.

The exercise which falls under "the Hilton Africa Water Quality Testing Fellowship" and is funded by the Hilton Foundation forms part of the organization’s five-year capacity-building and evidence-generation programs.

It analyzed 475 water samples from 242 households, 181 community water points (eight different types), 14 schools, and 8 healthcare facilities using E. coli, turbidity, pH, electrical conductivity, temperature, and Free Chlorine residual(FCR) as parameters. A percentage of 85 of the water samples were from improved water point types whereas 15 were from unapproved ones.

For turbidity and conductivity, 70% were within the acceptable limits whereas 64% of samples had low pH. pH has no health implications and conductivity affects only the taste of water when too high, while turbidity, on the other hand, reduces chlorine efficiency.

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A large proportion of household and community water point samples and a third of samples from schools and healthcare facilities had detectable E. coli. Large percentages were also reported in water point samples from protected and unprotected dug wells, unprotected slings, rainwater, and surface water.

73% out of 192 piped water systems which included mechanized boreholes apply water treatment. The report presented chlorination as means of treating 55% of treated piped water systems and filtration for the remaining 45%.

It was presented that samples with positive free chlorine residual (FCR) have 4 times the odds of undetectable E.coli as compared to samples with no measurable FCR. For samples from water that were not safely stored, 88% had detectable E. coli whereas those that were safely stored had 60% detectable E.coli.

Presenting the report, Programs Officer for Aquaya, Afua Gyaama Kissi Ampomah said, “comparing the data for samples with positive free a chlorine residual and those without, the chlorination is working and it’s something we really need to project”.

She also added that “samples that are not safely stored are more likely to have detectable E. coli” and tasked officers to “encourage residents to store water safely”.

From the University of Ghana, Legon, Dr. Juliet Ewool Quansah pointed out the necessity of disseminating feedback to the people before the next point of sampling is done to prevent resistance.

District Planning Officer, Bismack Asante Kyere in response pledged commitment to that after consultations with management.

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The project is working with the University of Ghana to develop a Water Testing Fellowship Program to enhance the training of water quality professionals. The next point of follow-up sampling in the district will begin in October 2022 by the University of Ghana.