African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1126

Full Length Research Paper

Environmental lead pollution and contamination in food around Lake Victoria, Kisumu, Kenya

  Anselimo O. Makokha1, Leonard R. Mghweno2,  Happy S. Magoha3, Amina Nakajugo4 and John M. Wekesa1
  1JKUAT, Kenya 2Bugema University, Uganda 3Open University of Tanzania, Tanzania 4Islamic University of Uganda, Uganda    
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 July 2008
  •  Published: 31 October 2008



Exposure to lead (Pb) through food, water, or contaminated air has adverse health impacts that are particularly  severe in children. Many countries have outlawed the use of leaded petrol, and enacted policies and regulations limiting lead pollution, and lead levels in foods. However, African countries, including Kenya, have generally been slow in adopting policies and regulatory structures concerning lead pollution. The main objective of this study was to determine lead contamination levels in the environment around Kisumu (Kenya). Lead content in samples of tap water and other surface water ranged from 140 to 260, and 140 to 690 (µg/g), respectively. All the tap water samples had lead content above10 µg/g, the maximum WHO limit for lead in drinking water. The lead content in vegetables and fish ranged between 0.0 to 2.9 and 1.0 to 3.3 (µg/g), respectively. All the fish samples had lead levels above the WHO maximum limit of 0.2 (µg/g). Lead content in soil samples ranged from 0.2 to 3.9 (µg/g). These results indicate that there is considerable risk of lead poisoning from drinking water and eating some foods from these sites.


Key words: Lead, pollution, environment, food safety