Microbiological quality of water, associated management practices and risks at source, transport and storage points in a rural community of Lungwena, Malawi


Taulo, S.*, Wetlesen, A., Abrahamsen, R., Mkakosya, R. and Kululanga, G.

This study investigated and compared the microbiological quality of source, transported and stored water in Lungwena households. It also examined water management practices at all the investigated points. One hundred and eighty (180) water samples were collected from 6 villages and tested for Escherichia coli, Salmonella, E .coli 0157:H7 and Campylobacter jejuni using standard methods. Water contamination practices were observed in two hundred and eighty seven households. E. coli, Salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7 and C. jejuni were isolated in 54, 24, 6.7 and 2.2% of the samples, respectively. Sampling points revealed a significant difference (p = 0.001) in E. coli concentration. Salmonella concentration between sampling points was not significant (p > 0.05). E. coli concentration was significantly (p = 0.042) higher than that of Salmonella spp. The microbiological quality of water was found to be poor as a result of both poor water management practices and environmental sanitation. There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in water management practices among the villages. 

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