Water Safety Practices and Occurrence of Diarrhea Among Children Under Five in Different Households of Njemp Community, Baringo County, Kenya

Phyllis Waruguru, Peter M. Chege


Water safety and quality is a key component in public health. Despite substantial progress made during the last decades, 11% of the global population are still not accessing adequate clean water and only 64% are able to access improved sanitation. Household water treatment methods, such as boiling or chlorination, have long been recommended in developing countries. Diarrhea diseases cause major public health problem in children under-five years of age, in addition, Water safety practices has been shown to affect health status. More research has focused on information about water safety practices at household level with minimal information on the relationship between water safety practices and occurrence of diarrhea among children below 5 years. This study was carried out to outline the occurrence of childhood diarrhea in relation to water safety practices. The study adopted a cross-sectional study design. This was among Njemp community in Baringo County, Kenya. Assessed was the household socio-demographic characteristics, sources of water, methods of domestic water treatment and the prevalence of diarrhea. Four hundred and twenty-two (422) households were targeted. However, data is reported for 401 households. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire also the laboratory water analysis from different sources and treatment methods was done to determine the level of E. coli.  Analysis was carried out using SPSS software. Chi-square was used for categorical variables while Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used for non-categorical variables to show the association between water safety practices and occurrence of diarrhea. Results show that majority of mothers (50.6%) were of age 26 – 35 years and married (78.3%). There was no significant difference in the mother’s various ages. The study also notes that most of the respondents (46.9%) had education up to primary level. Findings from household income indicates that majority of households earned less than Ksh. 10,000. River was the main source of water (50.6%). A few (31.2% and 18.2%) used borehole and rainwater respectively. The study found that river was the most contaminated source of water (50 MPN/100 mL) which was unsafe for human consumption according to WHO classification. On water treatment, majority (37.2%) used Moringa oleifera seeds for water treatment which acts as a natural absorbent and antimicrobial agent. 20.9% did not treat their water. The prevalence of diarrheal was 57.6%. There was a significant relationship between the water safety practices and occurrence of diarrhea. This study concludes that water safety practices of the Njemp community was low and as thus led to increased occurrence of diarrhea. This study recommends to the County Government of Baringo to come up with a centralized water treatment plant or dig boreholes and supply water to the people in Baringo County.

Keywords: Water Safety, Diarrhea, children under 5 years

DOI: 10.7176/FSQM/92-06

Publication date: December 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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