Groundwater quality, sanitation and vulnerable groups: case study of Bawku East District

The effect of human hygienic behaviour on the quality of groundwater was investigated using standard methods for trace elements and bacteria pollution indicators in Bawku East District of Ghana in 2006. No iron was detected in water; manganese levels were higher in wells than boreholes and fluoride levels exceeded the WHO standard (1.5mg/l) by 0.5-1.0mg/l in one well and a borehole at Bawku. Typical bacteria numbers deviated from normal trends (i.e.1014, 1011, 108, and 104 for total coliforms, faecal coliforms, E. coli and enterococci in the well water compared to 106, 105, 103 and 102 in the boreholes respectively). The six UNICEF boreholes were within the WHO guideline of zero helminthes (100-1 ml) but the wells were not. Hence, quality of the boreholes was higher than the wells for drinking purposes.