6th International Young Scientist Congress (IYSC-2020) will be Postponed to 8th and 9th May 2021 Due to COVID-19. 10th International Science Congress (ISC-2020).  International E-publication: Publish Projects, Dissertation, Theses, Books, Souvenir, Conference Proceeding with ISBN.  International E-Bulletin: Information/News regarding: Academics and Research

Impact of Mining and Farming activities on Water and Sediment Quality of the Mara river basin, Tanzania

Author Affiliations

  • 1School of Environmental Science and Technology, Ardhi University, P. O. Box 35176, Dar es Salaam, TANZANIA
  • 2Department of Food Science and Techonology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P. O. Box 3006, Morogoro, TANZANIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 3, Issue (7), Pages 15-24, July,18 (2013)


The effects of mining and agriculture activities on the accumulation of heavy metals and nutrients in water and sediments of rivers in the Mara river basin were examined. The study aimed at evaluation of the environmental quality of aquatic system in order to ascertain its suitability for human consumption, recreation and other purpose. Heavy metals Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn and Cr concentrations ranged from 0.01 to 0.72 mg/l and 0.01 to 90.58 mg/kg dw were detected in surface water and sediments samples, respectively. Plant nutrients NO3- and PO43- concentrations ranged from 0.63 to 127.60 mg/l were detected in surface water samples. In most sites, heavy metals and nutrients concentrations detected were above the recommended WHO and national limits for drinking water. Mining wastes were considered to be major sources of heavy metals, while nutrients were considered to originate from agricultural runoff and weathered agricultural soils. All the parameters were measured by standard methods.


  1. Tilman D., Global environmental impacts of agricultural expansion: The need for sustainable and efficient practices, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, USA, 96, 5995–6000 (1999)
  2. FAO., Water and sustainable agricultural development: A strategy for the implementation of the Mar del Plata action plan for the 1990s, FAO, Rome, (1990)
  3. Pretty J., Agricultural sustainability: Concepts, principles and evidence, Philos. Trans. Royal Society B, 363, 447–465 (2008)
  4. Park S., Choi J.H., Wang S. and Park S., Design of a water quality monitoring network in a large river system using the genetic algorithm, Ecological Modeling, Florida, (2006)
  5. Ongley E.D., Control of water pollution from agriculture - FAO irrigation and drainage paper 55. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome, (1996)
  6. Allan R., Introduction: Mining and metals in the environment, J. Geochem. Explor., 58, 95-100 (1997)
  7. Filho S.R. and Maddock J.E.L., Mercury pollution in two gold mining areas of the Brazilian Amazon, J. Geochem. Explor., 58, 231-240 (1997)
  8. FAO., World Agriculture: Towards 2015/2030. Summary report, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, (2002)
  9. Mucheweti A., Birkett J.W. and Chinyaga E., Heavy metal content of vegetables irrigated with mixtures of wastewater and sewage sludge in Zimbabwe: Implications for human health, Agric. Ecosy. Environ.,112(1), 41-48 (2006)
  10. Kishimba M.A., Henry L., Mwevura H., Mmochi A.J., Mihale M. and Hellar H., The status of pesticide pollution in Tanzania, Talanta, 64, 48-53 (2004)
  11. Mutie S.M., Mati B., Home P., Gadain H. and Gathenya J., Evaluating land use change effects on river flow using USGS Geospatial stream flow model in Mara River basin, Kenya, Centre for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces, Bonn, (2006)
  12. Andrew D.E., APHA/AWWA/WEF. Standard methods for Examination of water and wastewater, Washington DC, (2005)
  13. Loredo J., Ordonez A., Galan M., Fernandez-Martinez R., Alvarez R., Olay A., Petit-Dominguez M., Fernandez R.M., Marin S., Gonzalez M.M. and Rucandio M.I., Surface water monitoring in abandoned mercury mine sites in Asturias (Spain): Comparative Studies. 9thInternational Mine Water Congress, 595-601 (2000)
  14. Bellingham K., Physicochemical Parameters of Natural Waters, Stevens Water Monitoring Systems, Inc. http://www.stevenswater.com, (2013)
  15. WHO, Guidelines for drinking-water quality: recommendations, 3rd Ed, Vol. 1, Geneva, (2004)
  16. Ayers R.S. and Westcot D.W., Water quality for agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, (1994)
  17. Chapman D. and Kimstach, V., Selection of water quality variables, In: D. Chapman, ed. Water quality assessments: a guide to the use of biota, sediments and water in environmental monitoring, London: E & FN Spon, (1996)
  18. Laws E.A., Toxicity of metals: In aquatic pollution: An introductory text, Willey publication third edition, (2003)
  19. TBS, Drinking (potable) water: Specification (TZS 789:2003), National Environmental Standards Compendium, Tanzania Bureau of Standards (2003)
  20. Mushtakova V.M., Fomina V.A. and Rogovin V.V., Toxic effect of heavy metals on human blood neutrophils, Biological Bulletin, 32(3), 276–278 (2005)
  21. Chen W., Tan S.K. and Tay J.H., Distribution, fractional composition and release of sediment-bound heavy metals in tropical reservoirs, Water, Air, and Soil Pollution,92, 273–287 (1996)
  22. Adhikari S., Ghosh, L. and Ayyappan S., Combined effects of water pH and alkalinity on the accumulation of lead, cadmium and chromium to Labeo rohita (Hamilton), Intern. J. Environ. Sci. Technol., 3(3), 289-296 (2006)
  23. Galloway J.N. and Cowling E.B., Reactive nitrogen and the world: 200 years of change. Ambio, 31, 64–71 (2002)
  24. Cole J.J., Peierls B.L., Caraco N.F. and Pace. M.L., Nitrogen loading of rivers as a human-driven process. InMcDonnell M.J. and Pickett S.T.A., eds. Humans as components of ecosystems: the ecology of subtle human effects and populated areas, Springer-Verlag, New York, (1997)
  25. Bruning–Fann C.S. and Kaneene J.B., The effects of nitrate nitrite and -nitroso compounds on human health: A review, Veter. Human Toxicology, 35, 521–538 (1993)
  26. Dunne T. and Leopold L.B., Chemical characteristics of water, In T. Dunne L.B. Leopold, ed. Water in environmental planning, Freeman W.H. and Company, New York, (1978)
  27. Caraco N.F., Influence of human populations on P transfers to aquatic systems: A regional scale study using large rivers. In: Tiessen H., (Ed.) Phosphorus in the Global Environment, John Wiley, New York, USA, (1995)
  28. EPA, National water quality inventory, 1988 Report to congress, Office of Water, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., USA, (1990)