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Microbial and chemical contamination of water, sediment and soil in the Nakivubo wetland area in Kampala, Uganda

Fuhrimann, Samuel and Stalder, Michelle and Winkler, Mirko S. and Niwagaba, Charles B. and Babu, Mohammed and Masaba, Godfrey and Kabatereine, Narcis B. and Halage, Abdullah A. and Schneeberger, Pierre H. H. and Utzinger, Jürg and Cissé, Guéladio. (2015) Microbial and chemical contamination of water, sediment and soil in the Nakivubo wetland area in Kampala, Uganda. Environmental monitoring and assessment, Vol. 187, H. 7 , 475.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6411120

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Abstract

The reuse of domestic and industrial wastewater in urban settings of the developing world may harm the health of people through direct contact or via contaminated urban agricultural products and drinking water. We assessed chemical and microbial pollutants in 23 sentinel sites along the wastewater and faecal sludge management and reuse chain of Kampala, Uganda. Water samples were examined for bacteria (thermotolerant coliforms (TTCs), Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp.) and helminth eggs. Physico-chemical parameters were determined. Water, sediment and soil samples and edible plants (yams and sugar cane) were tested for heavy metals. Water samples derived from the Nakivubo wetland showed mean concentrations of TTCs of 2.9 × 10(5) colony-forming units (CFU)/100 mL. Mean E. coli was 9.9 × 10(4) CFU/100 mL. Hookworm eggs were found in 13.5 % of the water samples. Mean concentrations of iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and cadmium (Cd) were 21.5, 3.3 and 0.14 mg/L, respectively. In soil samples, we found a mean lead (Pb) concentration of 132.7 mg/L. In yams, concentrations of Cd, chromium (Cr) and Pb were 4.4, 4.0 and 0.2 mg/L, while the respective concentrations in sugar cane were 8.4, 4.3 and 0.2 mg/L. TTCs and E. coli in the water, Pb in soil, and Cd, Cr and Pb in the plants were above national thresholds. We conclude that there is considerable environmental pollution in the Nakivubo wetland and the Lake Victoria ecosystem in Kampala. Our findings have important public health implications, and we suggest that a system of sentinel surveillance is being implemented that, in turn, can guide adequate responses.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Eco System Health Sciences > Health Impact Assessment (Utzinger)
UniBasel Contributors:Winkler, Mirko S. and Utzinger, Jürg and Cissé, Guéladio
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0167-6369
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:04 Sep 2015 14:30
Deposited On:04 Sep 2015 14:30

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