chapter  6
1 Pages

An Analysis of the Quality of Wastewater Used to Irrigate Vegetables in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale, Ghana

ByPhilip Amoah

Cities in developing countries, including Ghana, are experiencing unparalleled population growth. Rapidly increasing water supply and sanitation coverage generates large volumes of wastewater, which is often released untreated into the environment (streams, drains, etc.). In Ghana, most urban centres have no means of treating wastewater and the sewerage network serves a small percentage (4.5 per cent) of the total population (GSS, 2002). The need for year-round production of vegetables in or near urban areas makes irrigation necessary; hence, farmers in search of water for irrigation often rely on wastewater. However, despite its importance for countless livelihoods, the use of urban wastewater for irrigation is not without health risks. Wastewater contains the full spectrum of pathogens found in the urban population, many of which can survive for several weeks when discharged onto fields.