The study examined pH, turbidity, and fecal contamination of drinking water
from household water storage containers, wells and taps, and the Godawari River, and
tested the effectiveness of solar disinfection (SODIS) in reducing levels of fecal
contamination from household containers. Second, the study investigated the
relationship between use of SODIS and reported episodes of diarrheal illness in the
participating households. Third, using the Health Belief Model as a framework, the
study collected qualitative data about the acceptability of SODIS and about perceived
susceptibility to diarrhea, and perceived benefits and barriers to adopting SODIS.
Forty households from Siddhipur Village in the Kathmandu Valley participated in the
study from March to July, 2002. The study included a baseline survey of health and
water quality, training in how and why to use solar disinfection, and two follow-ups.
The results showed:
1. Water from all sources is contaminated with fecal coliform bacteria.
2. There is less contamination in water from the household containers than from wells
3. SODIS did significantly reduce the level of fecal contamination.
4. SODIS was not adopted by most households in this study. Due to the low level of
adoption it was not possible to test for a reduction in episodes of diarrhea among
households using SODIS.
5. The level of education and awareness about water and sanitation was low.
One recommendation is to examine the entire water distribution system for the
village and identify specific points of potential contamination. The riparian zone
upstream from the intake for the village reservoir and the areas around the taps and
wells in the village should be protected from human and animal waste. Education about water and sanitation should be provided to the primary food
preparers, as well as information and training on other simple methods for household
disinfection. A SODIS program integrated into the school curriculum would involve
the children and relieve the women of this additional workload.
Additional research is needed to determine the effectiveness of SODIS in the
shorter, colder winter days and at higher altitudes before final recommendations can be
made for general use in Nepal.
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