Sources of heavy metal input into Winam Gulf, Kenya

LALAH JO, chieng EZ, Wandiga SO. "Sources of heavy metal input into Winam Gulf, Kenya.". 2008.


Water and surface sediment from rivers Kisat, Nyamasaria, Nyando, Sondu-Miriu, Kuja, Awach, Yala, and Nzoia, which flow into Winam Gulf, were analyzed for heavy metals in order to assess the influence of the catchment activities on heavy metal input into the lake. Sampling was done both upstream and at river mouths where the rivers entered in to the lake. The mean sediment concentration of exchangeable cations (in microg/g) for Ag, Cd, Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn, and Zn ranged from 0.01 to 263 (for Mn at Kuja). Ag, Cr, and Cd were poorly leachable with 0.1 MHCl but the other cations were found to be fairly exchangeable. Most exchangeable cations in sediment ranged between 2% and 20% of the total heavy metal content obtained by digestion with strong acid. The mean total dissolved metal (0.45 microm filter cut-off) and mean total sediment concentrations ranged from nd-16 (Ag), nd-8 (Cd), nd-23.3 (Co), nd-50 (Cr), 5-157.5 (Cu), 50-3276 (Mn), nd-54.1 (Ni), 7-93.6 (Pb), 25-219.5 (Zn) in microg/L and from nd-8.34 (Ag), 0.48-1.75 (Co), nd-1.78 (Cd), 2.92-5.36 (Cr), 3.90-150.2 (Cu), 133.5-7237 (Mn), 4.33-42.29 (Ni), 3.09-66.06 (Pb), 23.39-7.83 (Sn) and 23.39-350.8 (Zn) in microg/g dry weight, respectively. The rivers analyzed were found to be non-polluted in terms of sediment loads except river Kisat which was found to be polluted because of elevated levels of Pb, Mn, Cu, and Zn. Nyamasaria and Nyando were also found to have higher concentrations of Pb, Cu, and Zn than those reported previously in the lake sediment. The dissolved metal concentrations were acceptable by WHO maximum limits in drinking water except Mn which was above WHO limit in Kisat, Nyando, and Nyamasaria waters. Enrichment of Cd and Pb was found in all the river sediment samples with factors ranging from 2.12 at Kisat river mouth to 4.41 at Awach (for Cd) and from 1.49 (at Kisat river mouth) to 2.38 (at Nyando river mouth).


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