A few days later, we had a class session with USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Services Staff Member Arlene Rosenkrans, she taught us about Leptospirosis in the area.
Leptospirosis is a disease carried from animal urine through water that affects humans with flu-like symptoms. In Micronesia, piggeries are commonly located near riversides where the animals’ urine and feces contaminate passing by water. The USDA Natural Resources and Conservation Services estimate more than 3,000 piggeries in Phonpei.
Just up stream of the Kepirohi Waterfall are multiple piggeries, allowing the location to have one of the highest numbers of leptospirosis contamination in the state of Phonpei, said Rosenkrans in our class session.
In hindsight, we are all grateful that our water safety training was the week after our visit, which prohibited us from cooling down underneath the waterfall. Thank God.