Occurrence and distribution of organochlorine pesticide residue levels in water, sediment and aquatic weeds in the Nyando River catchment, Lake Victoria, Kenya
Samples of water, sediments and aquatic weeds were collected from 26 sites in the Nyando River catchment of the Lake Victoria basin in 2005–2006. The objective was to investigate levels of organochlorine pesticides that have either been banned or are restricted for use in Kenya. The pesticides investigated were lindane, aldrin, endosulfan, endrin, dieldrin, DDT, heptachlor and methoxychlor. These pesticides had previously found wide applications in public health and agriculture in Kenya for control of disease vectors and crop pests respectively. Results showed that mean concentrations were highest for methoxychlor (8.817 ± 0.020 μg l−1) in water, sediments (92.893 ± 3.039 μg kg−1), and weeds (39.641 ± 3.045 μg kg−1), the weeds also tended to accumulate aldrin (15.519 ± 3.756 μg kg−1). The results show that the pesticides are still in use and are detected in the catchment. Stringent management and public awareness measures are required to enforce the ban on the organochlorine pesticides in order to safeguard the environment and ecosystems of Lake Victoria.
Keywords: Agrochemicals, environmental pollution, farming, Winam Gulf