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Integrated Health Risk Management for urban and peri-urban wastewater Irrigation

Tildelt: kr 3,4 mill.


Worldwide, more than 20 million ha of agricultural fields in urban and peri-urban areas are irrigated with diluted, partly diluted and untreated wastewater (Future Harvest, 2001). The benefits of the practice are enormous. It sustains the livelihood of po or urban farmers, enhances urban food security, reduces pressure on potable water supply systems, provides an option for wastewater management and improves environmental quality by diverting wastewater to agricultural fields. However, the practice can als o be counter-productive on public health and lead to the erosion of all the aforementioned benefits if not undertaken in a safe manner. This is the case in most urban and peri-urban areas in developing countries where wastewater irrigation is largely info rmal and wastewater treatment facilities for safe irrigation are either inadequate or non-existent. In these countries, wastewater irrigation has been identified as a significant risk factor for diarrhoeal and helminth disease transmission. It is also inc reasingly associated with mosquito vector borne diseases.The challenge thus is how to optimize the benefits of wastewater irrigation without compromising public health. Confronting this challenge will require a full understanding of the contribution of ur ban wastewater irrigation to the disease burdens associated with both microbial pathogens and mosquito vector related diseases. The study will identify and assess the contribution of urban wastewater irrigation practices that increase the risks of these d iseases to enable the development of integrated interventions for their mitigation in a cost-effective way.


FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam