Title: Vulnerabilities of water and sanitation at households and community levels in face of climate variability and change: trends from historical climate time series in a West African medium-sized town

Authors: Guéladio Cissé; Doulo Traoré; Sunkaru Touray; Hampaté Bâ; Moussa Keïta; Ibrahima Sy; Brama Koné; Jürg Utzinger; Marcel Tanner

Addresses: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland ' Institut National de Recherches en Santé Publique, Nouakchott, Mauritania ' Universitiy of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA ' Institut National de Recherches en Santé Publique, Nouakchott, Mauritania ' Institut National de Recherches en Santé Publique, Nouakchott, Mauritania ' Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland; Institut National de Recherches en Santé Publique, Nouakchott, Mauritania ' Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d'Ivoire, 01 BP 1303, Abidjan 01, Côte d'Ivoire; Université Peleforo Gon Coulibaly, BP 1328, Korhogo, Côte d'Ivoire ' Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland ' Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland

Abstract: In Kaédi, a secondary city of Mauritania with approximately 71,000 inhabitants, the analyses of historical climate time series data (1919-2010) and some projections showed a likely occurrence of more frequent heavy rains and higher risks of flooding events in the future. Vulnerability assessments, facilitated through transversal household surveys toward the end of the rainy season that covered the entire city and followed a stratified sampling approach, showed that the community's water supply comprises more than 100 wells, 33% of households report using water from wells for drinking purposes, 12% of households have their own wells in the yard, and 69% of households have latrines in the yard. The analysis also revealed considerable spatial heterogeneity of vulnerability. Considering the risks of cross-contamination of wells water by onsite sanitation facilities during flood events, communities and local governance actors should find appropriate adaptation to climate change strategies for water and health sectors starting with thematic vulnerability maps.

Keywords: adaptation; climate change; climate variability; floods; health; Mauritania; secondary cities; time series analysis; vulnerability assessment; water supply; West Africa; households; communities; climate time series; medium-sized towns; cross-contamination; wells; onsite sanitation; flooding.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGENVI.2016.074360

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 2016 Vol.15 No.1/2, pp.81 - 99

Received: 02 Sep 2014
Accepted: 20 Oct 2014

Published online: 24 Jan 2016 *

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