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Health risk assessment associated with the reuse of compost, urine and greywater in agricultural field in sahelian climate.

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par Alexis Loukou BROU
Fondation 2iE - Master Environnement option Eau et Assainissement 2014
  

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Introduction

Burkina Faso, like many countries, is confronted withvarious issues among which food insecurity. In order to address this situation, the level of fertility of the soils has been decreasing; the price of chemical fertilizers is increasing on the marketas well as the weakness of the pluviometry. Furthermore, the water resources are insufficient, because 44,15% of rural population have not access of best water quality (DGRE, 2010).In addition, there is theissue of an appropriate sanitation. According to WHO and UNICEF, (2007) Joint Monitoring Program, access to improved sanitation in Burkina Faso was about 17% on national scale (47% urban and 4% rural) in 2007. The lower sanitation distribution is increasing the diseases from population which constitutes a public health issue in Burkina Faso. Therefore, improvement of the agriculture and sanitation is urgent task in the country.Faeces and urine, as well as mixed sewage products, need to be seen as resources rather than waste the resource oriented sanitation for sanitation or composting toilet is an advantage for agriculture. In addition human excreta have traditionally been used for crop fertilization in many countries. In Japan recycling of urine and faeces was introduced in the 12th Century and in China human and animal excreta have been composted for thousands of years (Höglund, 2001). In human excreta, urine contains the major part of essential plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). Concerning Faeces, apart from nutrients, can contribute humus-like substances, thus improving soil fertilizer (Schönning et al., 2007). In this case, thereuse of human excreta without previous relevanttreatment in agriculture triggers a problem of public health and remains health risk for farmers and consumers.Greywater reuse can alleviate stress on depleted water resources while reducing water cost for residents (Maimon et al., 2010). The reuse of greywater, however also can compromise human and environmental health. Pathogens in greywater may cause diseases through direct contact as well as through the consumption of contaminated plants (Shuval et al., 1997 and Mara et al., 2007a).

However, hazards associated with the recycling of these products include pathogens and pharmaceuticals as well as other micropollutants and heavy metals (Höglund et al., 1998 and Schönning et al., 2007).Thus, consumers can be exposedto diseases, when consuming the contaminated products related to greywater and human excreta reuse in agriculture especially if these products are not appropriately treated before being used in agriculture (FAO and WHO, 2008). Therefore, in order to minimize contamination of farmers and consumers due to the reuse of human excreta and greywater in agriculture field, several studies were conducted on health risk assessment related to urine, compost or greywater in agriculture field in the world (Höglund et al., 2002; -Al-Hamaiedeh, 2010; Fidjeland, 2010 ;Gemmell and Schmidt, 2011; and Nana O.B. Ackerson and Esi Awuah, 2012).

However, in Burkina Faso these kinds of study have not been conducted yet according to our investigations, when we know that the majorityof urban farming populations use wastewater to irrigate their crops which is not necessarily treated before use to irrigate crops.In this context, the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) through the Ameli-EAUR project which promotes the valorization of human excreta and greywater in family farming in order to improve sustainable sanitation for rural populations tried to study the health risk assessment related to the reuse of human excreta and greywater in agriculture. It is in this context that a topic was suggestedto us within the framework of our master's thesis. The topic is entitled «health risk assessment associated with the reuse of compost, urine and greywater in agricultural field in sahelian climate». The aim of this study isto assess the health risks associated with the reuse of human excreta and greywater in the agricultural field. It will, in a specific way, firstly, assess the health risk forfarmers thatreuse human excreta and greywater in agriculture field; and secondly assess the health risk for consumers of goods relating to the reuse of human excreta and greywater in agriculture field.To meet these objectives, this present dissertation includes the following parts: the state of the art on the generality on health risk assessment which include the risk for farmers and consumers, the material and methods which are used to do this study, then the results and discussion issue following the different activities and experimentations, and finally the conclusion and perspectives of this study.

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