Delft, the Netherlands, 16 Sep 2020

My first academic paper by alumnus Patrick Ronoh

Patrick Ronoh obtained his MSc diploma in 2019 after completing the one year sanitation programme at IHE Delft. He is from Kenya where he started to work as Project officer: Sanitation and Hygiene at World Vision Kenya after his studies. He just published his first academic paper that is the result of his MSc thesis for which he was awarded 'The Best MSc in Sanitation Award 2019.'

“Just published my first academic paper” wrote Patrick on LinkedIn in September, giving special thanks to his co-authors Dr. Claire Furlong, Prof. Frank Kansiime, Dr. Richard Mugambe and Prof. Damir Brdjanovic.

The publication under the title ‘Are There Seasonal Variations in Faecal Contamination of Exposure Pathways? An Assessment in a Low–Income Settlement in Uganda’ has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and it is now available in the following link

“When am I at a greater risk of faecal contamination? Is it during the rainy or the dry season? What are the pathways that can expose me to risk from faecal contamination? These are just a few of the questions I pondered on as I embarked on my thesis research in Kampala, Uganda. At the end of my research, I had answers to these questions, surprisingly, the dominant risk pathways identified were all non-traditional WASH pathways e.g., open drains, street food, and floodwater. The results of this study will contribute to the evidence base that is available to sanitation policy makers and implementers in low-income and informal urban areas, in this case, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA”, comments Patrick, answering the question about his work.


“Are There Seasonal Variations in Faecal Contamination of Exposure Pathways? An Assessment in a Low–Income Settlement in Uganda” 

Sanitation infrastructure is not able to cope with the increasing population in low-income countries, which leaves populations exposed to faecal contamination from multiple pathways. This study evaluated public health risk (using SaniPath) in a low-income community during the dry season, to identify the dominant exposure pathways, and compare this data to existing data for the rainy season, questioning the assumption that risk of faecal contamination is higher in the rainy season. SaniPath was used to collect and assess exposure and environmental data, and to generate risk profiles for each pathway. In the dry season the highest exposure frequency was for bathing and street food, exposure frequency generally increased, and seasonal variation was found in five pathways. The highest hazards in the dry season were through contact with drains, soil, and street food. Seasonal variation was found in the contamination of open drains and street food, with higher levels of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the dry season. Open drains were identified as the most dominant risk pathway in both seasons, but risk was higher in the dry season. This highlights the complex nature of seasonal variation of faecal risk, and questions the assumption that risk is higher in the rainy season

Other links

Patrick Ronoh about his master’s degree in Sanitation, read here.

Patrick thesis award




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