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Applying spatial analysis to socio-environmental interactions: Contamination of community drinking water in coastal Ghana

Justin Buszin, Brown University and Population Services International (PSI)

Water-borne illnesses linked by high nitrate and ammonia contamination in drinking water are an ongoing concern among demographers and health professionals in Africa. In this paper, I use data which come from GPS coordinates collected in the field in 2006 at various community drinking water sources in 36 communities within districts that are adjacent to the Atlantic coast in the Central Region, Ghana. Communities in this region had up to four community drinking water sources, and 74 total water samples were collected. Tests of whether water contamination is part of a spatial process fail and I find evidence that contamination level is largely dependent on water source rather than socio-demographic indicaters. Policy makers should be aware that there is a need for continued construction of water systems to provide a high quality of water to both rural and urban communities.

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Presented in Poster Session 2