Assessment of the sources of water pollution and their mitigation in Kabale Municipality in Western Uganda
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Water is one of the renewable resources essential for sustaining all forms of life ranging from food production, economic development and for general wellbeing. Water is one of the manageable natural resources as it is capable of diversion, transportation, storage, and recycling. Sources of water pollution have contributed a big role in the various out breaks specifically water borne diseases in Kabale municipality. These sources are categorized as point water source pollution and also non-point water source pollution. However, some pollutants are naturally occurring while others are artificially occurring. This study was therefore undertaken to assess the sources of water pollution and their mitigation measures in Kabale municipality in Western Uganda. The following objectives guided the study; to Identify the sources of water for domestic use for households in Kabale municipality, to scientifically determine and analyze the difference between the unpolluted water and polluted water their respective sources of pollution, and determine measures for mitigating pollution of water for domestic use.The study was carried out in Kabale municipality in Kabale district located along Kabale – Kisoro Road. Probability sampling method was used in this study and a sample size of 60 was used, where 30 residents were selected and water samples from 30 sites were collected for laboratory testing and analysis. The generated data was subjected to statistical analysis using SPSS. Three kinds of tests were carried out while in the lab and these included testing chemical parameters, physical tests and biological tests (bacteriological test). Results from the laboratory indicated pH values that varied between 5.5 and 6.9, with an average of 5.5 indicating slightly acidic water overall. The laboratory report of the bacteriological test for the various samples turned out as positive indicating the presence of total coliform bacteria in the water. This indicated that there was a considerable level of water pollution in these respective water sources.The respondents suggested measures like reducing and safely treating waste water so that it can be reused for irrigation, reduction in the use of chemical pesticides and nutrients on crops and also restricting the use of single-use plastics that end up floating in rivers, lakes and swamps. The researcher recommends that there should be a massive sensitization of people in Kabale municipality about the dangers of using polluted water for domestic purposes. People should be advised to use minimal detergent, or opt for earth-friendly brands that are free from phosphates and sulphates.