Heavy metal contamination in agricultural soils and water in Dar es Salaam city, Tanzania

  • WJS Mwegoha
  • C Kihampa


Heavy metals in soil and water were determined at four points along Msimbazi River valley in Dar es Salaam city, which is popular for vegetable farming. Results indicated that the concentration of chromium in water ranged from (1.414±0.922) to 0.01 mg/L. Maximum and minimum lead concentrations of 0.113 and 0.083 mg/L were detected. The concentration of copper was generally low at all sites, ranging from (0.013±0.005) to (0.016±0.005) mg/L. The concentration of lead in water throughout the river exceeds the WHO (2004) drinking water limit of 0.01 mg/L, ranging from (0.113±0.104) to (0.083±0.059) mg/L. Cadmium concentration at all sampling points was below detection limit of 0.01 mg/L. Soil analysis indicated that the concentrations of heavy metals are highest at the top soil and decreased with depth. Lead had the highest concentration of (22.85±1.502) mg/kg; which did not exceed the TZS (2003) maximum limit of 200 mg/kg for soils. Chromium had maximum and minimum concentrations of (502.33±150.991) and (174.707±168.278) mg/kg, respectively, with most of samples exceeding the TZS (2003) permissible limit of 200 mg/kg. The maximum and minimum concentrations of copper were (21.073±2.881) and (4.513±1.713) mg/kg, respectively, lower than the TZS (2003) permissible limit of 100 mg/kg. Cadmium concentrations at all sampling points were lower than the permissible concentration of 100 mg/kg in soils (TZS, 2003). The presence of heavy metals in soil and water indicates the potential for pollution transfer from these media to the food chain, especially since this valley is popular for vegetable cultivation.

Key words: Heavy metal, soil, water, pH, dissolved oxygen, Msimbazi River.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1996-0786
print ISSN: 1996-0786