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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) , Article e0150603. 10.1371/journal.pone.0150603. Green open access

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Abstract

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.

Type: Article
Title: Risk Perceptions of Wastewater Use for Urban Agriculture in Accra, Ghana
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0150603
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0150603
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2016 Antwi-Agyei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1481264
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