International Journal of Science and Technology

International Journal of Science and Technology>> Volume 7, Number 9, September 2017

International Journal of Science and Technology

Determination of Heavy Metals Pollutants in Sediments along the Banks of Athi River Machakos County, Kenya

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Author Johnston Kosgey, Jesang Koech, Stephen Bunyasi, Kipkemoi Bett, Titus M. Muthoka, Obed M. Nyabaro
Volume No. 5
Issue No. 7
Issue Date July 01, 2015
Publishing Date July 01, 2015
Keywords Heavy Metals, Sediments, Pollution


Athi River in Machakos County in Kenya is increasingly choking with pollutants from industrial and anthropogenic sources. This situation has occasioned spread of waterborne diseases, loss of sustainable livelihoods, loss of biodiversity, reduced availability of safe portable water and the insidious effects of heavy metal poisoning. This research set out to determine the heavy metals concentration in sediments from the banks of Athi River. Nine sediments ((S1 S9)) were collected from targeted sites of Athi River banks, that is, at intervals of three kilometers. Flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (FAAS) was used in the analysis of the concentration of Pb2+, Cr2+, Cu2+, Cd2+ and Ni2+. The results revealed that Pb was highest with a peak concentration 0.3513 ppm of followed by Cu and Cr with peak concentrations of 0.13866 ppm and 0.1329 ppm respectively. The high concentrations of Pb, Cu and Cr were attributed to the discharge of industrial waste and raw sewage to the river at specific points. These wastes are usually highly contaminated with various heavy metals. Ni and Cd were the lowest among all the heavy metal with concentrations of 0.01912 ppm and 0.01082 ppm respectively. The presence of Cd and Ni in sediments could also be attributed to the agricultural discharge as well as from spill of leaded petrol from transportation lorries. The study recommends that in order to improve the water quality and environment in the Athi River Basin, the National Environmental Program Agency (NEMA) should develop environmental management and planning systems. This entails the formulation of organizational structures, plans and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining policy for environmental protection. The agency should also come up with strategies and policies aimed to rehabilitate and restore the river.

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