Safe Water for Food (SaWaFo)

Start date: 31 December, 2011 End date: 30 April, 2017 Project type: Larger strategic projects (prior to 2013) Project code: 11-058DHI Countries: Ghana Tanzania Thematic areas: Climate change, Food security and safety, Water management and sanitation, Lead institution: DHI, Denmark, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana, Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark, Total grant: 9,360,362 DKK Contact person: Anders Permin and Torben Wilde Schou


Production of foods requires water and climate changes will further aggrevate the problems with limited fresh water resources in many African countries. Agriculture in the future will depend on the use of low quality water for irrigation, in particular for the increasing urban productions. The SaWaFo project will address these challenges by doing both action risk assessment-based and policy-oriented research in Ghana and Tanzania that will allow farmers safely to use low quality water for food production.


Project Completion Report:

The project had a total of seven objectives. Output of the research were student thesis and publications. The outcomes are likely to include improved agricultural practices and formulation of policy to ensure the proper use of Low Quality Water (LQW).

Specifically, highest concentrations of antibiotics were found in several water bodies in Ghana and Tanzania. The study however showed that simple water treatment technology is efficient as wastewater stabilisation ponds remove more than 90% of the antibiotics. Results from chemical and microbial analysis was used to develop risk models and assess health hazards for farmers and consumers which resulted in the quantification of Risk and the assessment of disease burden. Factors influencing farmers’ and consumers’ perceived benefits and risks from the use of LQW in food production was determined. Similarly, factors influencing the safe use of LQW in unrestricted agriculture was found to include inadequacy of policy frameworks and negative perceptions of institutions about wastewater reuse.