Variation in E. coli concentrations in open drains across neighborhoods in Accra, Ghana: The influence of onsite sanitation coverage and interconnectedness of urban environments.

Abstract:

:Alongside efforts to improve safe management of feces along the entire sanitation chain, including after the toilet, global sanitation efforts are focusing on universal access 'basic' services: onsite facilities that safely contain excreta away from human contact. Although fecal sludge management is improving in urban areas, open drains remain a common fate for feces in these often densely-populated neighborhoods in low-income countries. To-date, it is unclear to what extent complete coverage of onsite sanitation reduces fecal contamination in the urban environment and how fecal contamination varies within urban drains across neighborhoods by sanitation status within a city. We assessed how neighborhood levels of environmental fecal contamination (via spatially-representative sampling of open drains for E. coli) varied across four neighborhoods with varying income, type and coverage of household sanitation facilities, and population density in Accra, Ghana. Neighborhoods with very high sanitation coverage (≥89%) still had high (>4 log10 CFU/100 mL) E. coli concentrations in drains. Between-neighborhood variation in E. coli levels among the high coverage neighborhoods was significant: drain concentrations in neighborhoods with 93% and 89% coverage (4.7 (95% CI: 4.5, 4.9) & 4.9 (95% CI: 4.5, 5.3) log10 CFU/100 mL, respectively) were higher than in the neighborhood with 97% coverage (4.1 log10 CFU/100 mL, 95% CI: 3.8, 4.4 log10 CFU/100 mL). Compared with the highest coverage neighborhood, the neighborhood with lowest coverage (48%) also had higher E. coli concentrations (5.6 log10 CFU/100 mL, 95% CI: 5.3, 5.9 log10 CFU/100 mL). Although fecal contamination in open drains appeared lower in neighborhoods with higher onsite sanitation coverage (and vice versa), other factors (e.g. fecal sludge management, animals, population density) may affect drain concentrations. These results underscore that neighborhood-level onsite sanitation improvements alone may not sufficiently reduce fecal hazards to public health from open drains. These findings supporting the need for integrated, city-level fecal sludge management alongside multifaceted interventions to reduce fecal contamination levels and human exposure.

authors

Berendes DM,de Mondesert L,Kirby AE,Yakubu H,Adomako L,Michiel J,Raj S,Robb K,Wang Y,Doe B,Ampofo J,Moe CL

doi

10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.113433

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2020-03-01 00:00:00

pages

113433

eissn

1438-4639

issn

1618-131X

pii

S1438-4639(19)30919-8

journal_volume

224

pub_type

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