Lead found in rural drinking water supplies in West Africa

Scientists are warning that drinking water supplies in parts of rural West Africa are being contaminated by lead-containing materials used in small community water systems such as boreholes with handpumps and public taps.

They analysed scrapings taken from the plumbing of 61 community water supply systems in Ghana, Mali and Niger. 

Eighty percent of the tested systems had at least one component that contained lead in excess of international guidance.

Lead is released into the water when the components corrode.

The study, by a research team from the University of Leeds, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Boston University, also took samples of the water from those 61 water distribution systems, and from a further TWO HUNDRED taps and boreholes with handpumps.

Adolphus Mawolo reports.

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