Access to safe and reliable water coupled with sound environmental cleanliness contributes greatly to improving the health status of the people. Five main sources of water supply can be identified in the district; these are boreholes, rivers and streams, hand-dug wells, pope-borne systems and dugouts. Water from borehole is potable but inadequate in about 41% of the settlements where it is the main source of water. The inadequacy has compelled some communities to supplement their source of potable water with water from streams, resulting in the incidence of water borne diseases in such settlements, including Noyem, Amoa, Nkwarteng, Pankese, Mamanso, Old Abirem and Amenam.
Mechanical boreholes and pipe-borne systems which also supply potable water are operational only a few settlements namely New Abirem, Ofoase, Ofoase-Kuma, Akoase, Brenase and Ntronang and Afosu. In addition to these settlements, the Cocoa Research Institute at Afosu also has a mechanized borehole system that supplies potable water to only its staff quarters. With the exception of the mechanised borehole at the Cocoa Research Institute, the systems are largely obsolete, with the population outstripping their capacity. Given the poor maintenance culture, these old systems break down frequently. The result is that users resort to the use of unwholesome sources such as streams, wells and dugouts.
Rivers, streams and wells are normally used as supplements to potable water in some settlements in the district. Rivers and streams in the district that service such purpose include the Pra, Maman, Dowdowrase and Nwin. Many of the smaller streams dry up during the dry season, forcing people to walk long distances in search of water.
Because of improper handling well water is not considered potable. In the district as much as 40% of settlements rely on well water, including Ayirebi, the largest settlement in the district in terms of population. As portrayed by many boreholes dotted about in the district, the underground water reserves must be rich, despite the scarcity and inadequacy of potable water in many communities. This potential lends itself easily (and cheaply too) to mechanization either localized or on a larger scale to alleviate the problem of water scarcity substantially in the district. Currently, such a programme is being embarked upon in New Abirem, which can be extended, to the surrounding areas to increase coverage.
Human excreta disposal facilities are very deplorable although almost every village has one type of system or the other. The three main types of toilet being used in the district are KVIP/VIP, the pit and the bucket/pan latrine. The bucket/pan latrine which hitherto was one of the main types of toilet facilities has seen a considerable decline in the usage over the period, due to associated problems such as unavailability of personnel to carry and empty them, lack of suitable disposal sites and the unhygienic method of disposal. Above all is the increasing awareness of the existence of KVIPs.
A survey of 60 communities shows that communal and household pit latrines are the most common type and can be found in about 83% of the communities (table 1.38). These are either the combined gender type or most often the segregated type for males and females. Because these pits are often located at the outskirts of the communities to prevent the nuisance of stench, linear expansion of the settlements has meant that many have to travel long distance to use them. The location again prevents their use during the night because of the absence of electricity and other sources of power to illuminate paths leading to them. They are often infested with vermin and flies, which pose health hazards to the community. Their unhygienic nature coupled with their location and absence of lighting; contribute to the danger posed by snakes, mice and other rodents.
Date Created : 11/24/2017 12:41:33 AM