ADOPTION OF TREATED WASTEWATER USE FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY LIVELIHOODS IN RUAI, NAIROBI COUNTY, KENYA
MAINA, GERALD IRUNGU
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The increasing freshwater scarcity threatens sustainable water-dependent livelihoods. This force water planners and users to reconsider alternative water sources such as wastewater. The Dandora wastewater sewage treatment works (DESTW) in Ruai discharges approximately 80,000m3/day of treated wastewater (TWW) into the Nairobi River with no reuse option. Nevertheless, some people use it unsustainable ways for their livelihoods oblivious of its suitability, putting to risk their own health, public health and the environment. This study investigated the adoption of the TWW use for sustaining livelihoods of communities in Ruai. The study adopted both an analytical process where samples of TWW were collected, prepared and analysed and a descriptive cross-sectional survey and correlational designs for the collection and analyses of social data. Social data were collected through surveys and in-depth interview guides. A sample size of 360 households was selected using simple random sampling from seven estates (Sewage/IDP,Gituamba, Kamunyonge, Katworo, Bondeni, Dan Bull and By-pass) that are close to the DESTW. Four (4) key informants from DESTW were selected using purposive sampling methods. Samples of TWW were analysed for heavy metals [Cd, Cu, Cr, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, & Zn, nutrients [nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium] and microbes; faecal coliforms (FC) & total coliforms (TC), and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total solid (TS), pH and chlorides. Statistical analyses were done with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences software version 20 for both descriptive statistics (percentages, frequencies, means and standard deviations), and inferential statistics; Logistic regression’s Odds Ratio, Pseudo-R2 & Wald χ2 for the prediction of adoption of TWW use, Pearson’s chi-square (χ2) test and Cramer’s V for establishing relationships, ANOVA’s F and post hoc procedures by Tukey and Games-Howell tests to separate means. All inferential statistical tests were conducted at a 0.05 level of significance. Results on the suitability of the TWW for use based on NEMA standards for safe use, showed that the TWW was safe for adoption in relation to Cd, Cr, Fe, Mn, Phosphate, TS, Cl, pH but unsafe in relation to Pb, BOD, COD, and TC. vi Respondents’ factors predicting adoption of TWW were gender, main occupation in general, farming, dependency on wastewater, and knowledge of organization regulating use of TWW. A significant relationship was found between adoption of TWW use and (1) livelihood activities such as formal employment, small-scale farming, business and extra occupations such as casual labour and grocery vending, as well as with (2) livelihoods assets; knowledge of beneficial use of TWW, experience of use of TWW, and social networks. In the absence of a policy guideline for use of TWW in Kenya, the study findings provide baseline data useful in formulating a requisite policy and regulations for TWW use in Ruai. A change of the policy on the processes of treatment of wastewater at DESTW from a linear to a cyclical process which integrate planned reuse of appropriately TWW for providing an additional source of water for a variety of livelihood activities that would enhance sustainable community livelihoods.