Abstract for:Health issues (schistosomiasis) due to new irrigation practices in the Volta Basin

In dry, sub-humid and semi-arid regions the issue of water scarcity is becoming more critical. Small reservoirs form a way to store water for agricultural purposes in rural environments. Therefore, since 1980 small reservoirs are being widely promoted in the Volta basin to establish agricultural growth in rural areas. However, the side effects of the small reservoirs are often disregarded. This paper focusses on one of the major health effects related to small reservoirs: Schistosomiasis. By representing the rivers as small lakes (stocks) with rivers in-between the major water streams (Black Volta, White Volta and Oti) in the Volta Basin could be modelled. The modelling of the disease is applied to one sub-basin, the Upper Black Volta, since this has area has the highest prevalence of schistosomiasis. The uncontrolled increase of small reservoirs increases the disease prevalence, if no measures are taken. Several policies, that are currently applied in rural areas, are simulated to study the effect on diminishing the spread of schistosomiasis. In conclusion education to create awareness turned out to be the major factors in stopping the disease. Furthermore, different policies need to be applied in combination with each other to truly tackle the spread of schistosomiasis.