In Ghana and surrounding areas, polluted stream water is often used to irrigate vegetable crops. The problem is that the water often contains biological and chemical substances that are harmful to human health.
Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this problem–even in parts of sub-Saharan Africa where conventional wastewater treatment has only limited coverage.
IWMI has initiated several projects which focus on “non-treatment” or “post-treatment” interventions, such as promoting safer irrigation practices and the effective washing of vegetables.
Collaborating with vegetable farmers, traders, and street-food kitchen staff, the research partners developed and tested some 15 “good practices” to enhance food safety–examining their efficacy in controlling germs, their cost, cost-effectiveness in terms of reduced disease burden and adoption potential.
Good farming practices to reduce vegetable contamination.
Source: Drechsel, Pay. 2011. Promoting safer wastewater irrigation in West Africa. In State of the world 2011: innovations that nourish the planet. Washington, DC, USA: Worldwatch Institute. pp.118-119.
Good farming practices to reduce vegetable contamination. Awareness and training video for wastewater farmers. IIWMI 2008. CPWF, DVD.