Public Health Implications of ABA River Pollution on Communities in ABA North Abia State Nigeria

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.07.01.Art017

Authors : Udo Stella Ngozi, Elendu Humphery


Aba river continuously undergoes pollution from effluents from activities around the river and this constitutes a public health hazard. The aim of study is to determine the microbial and chemical pollutants, public health risks and recommend appropriate measures for prevention and control by government. Structured questionnaire was administered to 100 residents, direct plate count, culture and Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry of the water collected were carried out. (upstream-2B and downstream-1B, all in plain and sterile containers). Results indicated that residents were mainly semi-literate (52%); business and petty traders (80%) with low income. The water from Aba River is used for drinking, washing, cooking and other domestic activities; 54% residents were females and 46% men and the age bracket of 21years to 50years were predominate in the area, hospital visits and bills in last 12 months were high due to typhoid, malaria, diarrhoea, worm infestation and food poisoning, no free medical care by government or surrounding industries; microbial analysis and count from the upstream water prior to discharges showed E.coli count of 7.0 cfu/mLand downstream count showed E.Coli count of 197 cfu/mL indicating heavy microbial pollution; chemical analysis showed an increase in organic analytes of Aluminium 355 mg/L, Arsenic 11 mg/L, Iron 301 mg/L, Lead 8 mg/L, Manganese 13 mg/L, Nickel 11 mg/L, Selenium 280 mg/L, Ammonium 0.35 mg/L, Benzene 1.7 mg/L, Pesticides 0.08 mg/L, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon 1 mg/L with a conductivity of 2800 ms/cm which are higher than the standard. Conclusion: Aba River is highly polluted and unfit for drinking or domestic use.

Keywords: Aba River, pollution, Public Health implication.


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