Future of water quality: Taking stock of emerging contaminants in water sources in East and Southern Africa.

Over 45 % of people in Africa do not have access to clean drinking water. This number will increase in the next years due to rapid population growth, rising middle class and hence affluence and climate change. With urbanization/ industrialization and growth in the agricultural sector a significant number of chemicals have been introduced into the environment that end up in water unfortunately in many places the waste water is released to waterways without treatment. Many of the chemicals such as heavy metals, nutrients POP, pesticides, pharmaceuticals from industrial and domestic effluents, agricultural and dumpsite leacheate have been known to be mutagenic, carcinogenic and also able to disrupt the nervous, development and reproductive health. Already there have been reports of increased reports of certain diseases especially cancers in various areas and impact on the ecosystems due to pollution.

In order to meet the SDGs on health (3) clean water (6) and sustainable cities (11), there is an urgent need to take stock of what is in the environment and also explore remediation options to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. This project seeks to map the levels of emerging contaminants from cities and agricultural areas found in in water sources (Transboundary Rivers and groundwater), assess the impact on public and ecological health, review the current guidelines on water protection and suggest remediation options that can be adopted.

Project leader(s):
  • Lydia Olaka (Department of Geology, University of Nairobi)

Leave a Reply