Risk Perceptions of Wastewater Use for Urban Agriculture in Accra, Ghana.

Antwi-Agyei, P; Peasey, A; Biran, A; Bruce, J; Ensink, J; (2016) Risk Perceptions of Wastewater Use for Urban Agriculture in Accra, Ghana. PloS one, 11 (3). e0150603. ISSN 1932-6203 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0150603

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Poor food hygiene is a significant risk to public health globally, but especially in low and middle-income countries where access to sanitation, and general hygiene remain poor. Food hygiene becomes even more pertinent when untreated, or poorly treated wastewater is used in agriculture. In such circumstances the WHO recommends the adoption of a multiple-barrier approach that prescribes health protective measures at different entry points along the food chain. This study sought to assess the knowledge and awareness of wastewater use for crop production, its related health risks, and adoption of health protective measures by farmers, market salespersons and consumers using questionnaires and focus group discussions. In the period from September 2012 to August 2013, 490 respondents were interviewed during two cropping seasons. The study found that awareness of the source of irrigation water was low among consumers and street food vendors, though higher among market vendors. In contrast, health risk awareness was generally high among salespersons and consumers, but low among farmers. The study found that consumers did not prioritize health indicators when buying produce from vendors but were motivated to buy produce, or prepared food based on taste, friendship, cost, convenience and freshness of produce. Similarly, farmers' awareness of health risk did not influence their adoption of safer farm practices. The study recommends the promotion of interventions that would result in more direct benefits to both producers and vendors, together with hygiene education and enforcement of food safety byelaws in order to influence behaviour change, and increase the uptake of the multiple-barrier approach.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
PubMed ID: 26978778
Web of Science ID: 372572800031
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2535914


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