Assessment of Heavy Metals Contamination in Lake Elementaita Drainage Basin, Kenya

Authors(4) :-Vane B. Ondiere, Madadi O. Vincent, Austin A. Ochieng, Fredrick D.O. Oduor

The future of Lake Elementaita, Kenya, hangs in the balance between environmental conservation and exploitation of the catchment resources for agricultural and industrial development. In the recent past the Lake has experienced water quality deterioration that is likely to lead to adverse ecological effects of the lake biodiversity. This study aimed at determining the impact of human activities in the catchment on contamination of heavy metals namely; cadmium, copper, lead and zinc. We collected water, sediments and soil samples from seven sites in the lake drainage basin to determine the extent of physico-chemical parameters and heavy metals concentrations. Samples for heavy metals determination were digested using aqua regia solution followed by perchloric acid and analysed by Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, while physico-chemical parameters were analysed using portable meters. Water pH ranged from 6.94 to 10.84, TDS from 0.07 g/L to 4.21 g/L, TSS from 0.01 g/L to 0.07 g/L, while electrical conductivity ranged from 0.14 mS/cm to 8.40 mS/cm. Heavy metals concentrations in water ranged from 0.04 mg/L to 3.14 mg/L, whereas the levels in sediments ranged from bdl to 134 mg/kg and from 2.78 mg/kg to 86.95 mg/kg in soil samples. Except for zinc, the levels of the rest of the metals in water were above WHO recommended limits for drinking water suggesting that the water is not safe for life. The results revealed that human activities are contributing to heavy metals contamination in Lake Elementaita drainage basin and management effort is required to control contamination to protect the lake ecosystem and biodiversity.

Authors and Affiliations

Vane B. Ondiere
Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, College of Biological and Physical Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197- 00100, Nairobi
Madadi O. Vincent
Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, College of Biological and Physical Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197- 00100, Nairobi
Austin A. Ochieng
Department of Chemical Science and Technology, Technical University of Kenya, P.O. Box 52428-00200, Nairobi.
Fredrick D.O. Oduor
Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, College of Biological and Physical Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197- 00100, Nairobi

Lake Elementaita, Heavy Metals Contamination, Water Pollution, Environmental Conservation

  1. Garbarino, JR; Hayes, H; Roth, D; Antweider, R; Brinton, TI; Taylor, H (1995) Contaminants in the Mississipi River, U. S. Geological Survey Circular 1133, Virginia.
  2. Muinde. M.V., (2012) Heavy metal effects on types and levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in tilapia fish (oreochromis niloticus) in Winam gulf of Lake Victoria. M.Sc. Thesis. Department of Chemistry University of Nairobi.
  3. Mohamed M. El Bouraie, Mohamed M. Yehia, Eman A. Motawea, (2010) Heavy metal concentrations in surface river water and bed sediments at Nile Delta in Egypt. Central Laboratory for Environmental Quality Monitoring (CLEQM), National Water Research Center (NWRC), Cairo, Egypt.
  4. Zarazua G., Ávila-Perez P., Tejeda S., Barcelo-Quintal I. and Martínez T., (2006) Analysis of total and dissolved heavy metals in surface water of a Mexican polluted river by Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry, Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy, 61, 1180-1184.
  5. Yahaya, M.I.; Mohammad, S. ; Abdullahi, B. K., (2009) Seasonal Variations of Heavy Metals Concentration in Abattoir Dumping Site Soil in Nigeria. Sci. Environ. Manage. December, 2009 Vol. 13(4) 9 – 13.
  6. Mwamburi, J., (2003) Variations in trace elements in bottom sediments of major rivers, in Lake Victoria’s basin, Kenya. Lakes and reservoirs: research and management, 8(1): 5-13.
  7. Authman M.M.N., (2008) Oreochromis niloticus as a biomonitor of heavy of heavy metal pollution with emphasis on potential risk and relation to some biological aspects. Global veteria 2(3):104-109.
  8. Gok, (2010) Kenya Lakes System in the Great Rift Valley, Elmentaita, Nakuru and Bogoria, Nomination Proposal, Republic of Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya.
  9. Adeka, J.E., Strobl, R.O, and Becht, R., (2008) An environmental system analysis of lake Elmentaita, Kenya with reference to water quality. The 12th world lake conference 1365-1372 pp. Institute of environment and sustainability unit H05, 7 P 272, 1-2012 Ispran (VA) Italy.
  10. Murimi, S.K., Gachuki, F.N., Mungai, D.N., Gachuru, C.K.K. and Thomas, D.B., (1993) The drying Up of East Africa rift valley Lakes in recent times with special reference to Lake Elementaita Land and water management in Kenya: towards sustainable land use, proceedings of the fourth National workshop, Kikuyu, Kenya.
  11. Mumo, F.A., (2002) Water balance of the southern Kenya rift valley lakes, international institute of Geo information science and earth observation, ITC, Enschede 114pp.
  12. Sparvs Agency Ltd, (2008) A final report on Threat Reduction Assessment.Stockholm, Sweden.
  13. Alamirew, D., Korme, T., Olago, D. and Barongo, J., (2007) Geology, Hydrogeology and Hydrochemistry of the Nakuru-Elmenteita-Naivasha watershed, Kenyan Rift.University of Nairobi, Department of Geology/ Geological Survey of Ethiopia, Lecture.
  14. Government of Kenya, (2010) Agricultural Sector Development Strategy 2010-2020.ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi, Kenya.
  15. Jaetzold, R., Schmidt, H., Hornet, Z. B. and Shisanya, C. A., (2010) Farm Management Handbook of Kenya, Volume II, Part B: Natural Conditions and Farm Management Information, Central Kenya (Rift Valley and Central Provinces), Nairobi, Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya, in Cooperation with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
  16. US Environmental Protection Agency, (1976) Guidelines for state and Area wide Water Quality Management Programme Development. USEPA, Washington DC.
  17. Chernet, T., Travi, Y., and Valles, V., (2001) Mechanism of degradation of the quality of natural water in the lakes region of the Ethiopian rift valley. Water Research 35, 2819-2832.
  18. Ayenew, T., (2005) Major ions composition of the ground water and surface water systems and their geological and geochemical controls in the Ethiopian volcanic terrain. SINET: Ethiopian Journal of Science 28, 171-188.
  19. Jensen, A., and Bro-Rasmussen, F., (1992) Environmental cadmium in Europe. Reviews in Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 125: 101–181.
  20. WHO (2004). Guidelines for drinking water quality: Recommendations 3rd Edn. World Health Organization,Geneva, pp. 516.
  21. World Health Organization, (WHO)/UN Child. Fund (UNICEF), (2008) Progress on Drinking-Water and Sanitation: Special Focus on Sanitation. Geneva, Switz. /New York: WHO/UNICEF. 5 8, Washington, DC.
  22. Akan, J.C., Abdulrahman, F.I., Sodipo,O.A., Ochanya.A.E and Askira, Y.K. (2010) Heavy metals in sediments from river Ngada, Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno state, Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology Vol. 2((9), pp.131-140.
  23. Anglin-Brown, B., Armour-Brown, A and Lalor, G.C., (1995) Heavy metal pollution in Jamaica: Survey of cadmium, lead and zinc concentrations in the Kintyre and hope flat districts. DOI: 10.1007/DF00146708. Environ. Geochem. Health, 17:51-56.
  24. Lawler, A. J. and Tipping, E., (2003) Metals in bulks deposition and surface waters at two upland locations in northern England. Envir. Pollut., 121;153–167.
  25. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, (2003) Canadian water quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life: summary tables.updated. In : Canadian environmental quality guidelines, (1999) Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, Winnipeg.1-16.
  26. Connell B.S., Cox M., and Singer I.., (1984) Nickel and Chromium in Brunner, F. and Coburn, J. W. (eds): Disorders of minerals metabolism. Academic press, New York.pp.472-532.

Publication Details

Published in : Volume 3 | Issue 5 | July-August 2017
Date of Publication : 2017-08-31
License:  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Page(s) : 283-289
Manuscript Number : IJSRSET173471
Publisher : Technoscience Academy

Print ISSN : 2395-1990, Online ISSN : 2394-4099

Cite This Article :

Vane B. Ondiere, Madadi O. Vincent, Austin A. Ochieng, Fredrick D.O. Oduor, " Assessment of Heavy Metals Contamination in Lake Elementaita Drainage Basin, Kenya, International Journal of Scientific Research in Science, Engineering and Technology(IJSRSET), Print ISSN : 2395-1990, Online ISSN : 2394-4099, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.283-289, July-August-2017.
Journal URL :

Article Preview

Follow Us

Contact Us