The Past

Historic groundwater source surveys in Kisumu offer a valuable opportunity to assess groundwater quality and its effect on the local population over a prolonged period.

Initial surveys

So and so recording well data, Image Steve Pedley

Inspecting a shallow well for potential contamination hazards, Photo: Steve Pedley

From 1998 to 2004, colleagues at VIRED International and University of Surrey surveyed 61 groundwater sources in the two suburbs of Migosi and Manyatta in Kisumu. The majority of these sources were shallow hand-dug wells.

The team recorded potential hazards around each well, such as cracking of the cement floor around the well head. Such damage could allow contaminants to be washed into the well water. We took water samples and tested them for a range of contaminants, both chemicals such as nitrate and bacteria indicative of faecal contamination.




An uncovered shallow well in Kisumu

An uncovered shallow well in Kisumu, Photo: Steve Pedley

As we already had recorded the coordinates of the groundwater sources that we surveyed during this period, we were able to return to these same locations in follow-up fieldwork and measure the same water quality parameters once again in order to establish any long-term trends and any implications.

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