Both water pollution and water scarcity are increasing global problems and particularly serious challenges for Africa. According to the World Health Organization, more people lack access to safe water in Africa than anywhere else in the world. To meet the growing demand for water worldwide, dams and irrigation systems are often built, particularly to provide water for agricultural needs. However, dams, especially large dams, may promote the spread of water-associated diseases. Completed in 1982, the Kiri Dam reservoir in Adamawa State, northeastern Nigeria, supports the water needs, which at times includes drinking, for many people living around the reservoir. To assess overall water quality and presence of disease indicators in the Kiri reservoir, and to establish baseline data for future monitoring, I collected water samples (near-shore and open-water sites) in October 2016.
I evaluated the samples for physico-chemical and biological characteristics and compared some values to national and international standards for drinking water. I found microorganisms that indicate contamination, such asEscherichia coli, in all near-shore samples and eggs of parasitic worms, including Schistosoma hematobiumand most likely Echinococcus granulosus, in most near-shore samples. Aside from average turbidity (727.4 NTU), most of the physico-chemical parameters I measured did not exceed international standards. Overall, I found that the Kiri reservoir is not heavily polluted; however, some important parameters were not measured in this study, including heavy metals, nitrates, and pesticides. Future research should concentrate on these parameters, indicator bacteria, and helminths, and a monitoring program should be established.