Title: Environmental study and monitoring of undesirable chemical substances in fish/seafood: A proposal for Lake Victoria, Kenya

Author(s): Mathew Ndasi Ngila
Final project
Year of publication:
Place of publication:
Number of pages:
Supervisors: Helga Gunnlaugsdottir
Kenya; Lake Victoria; environmental study; monitoring;


Without a doubt, pollution in Lake Victoria is an issue of major concern. Various studies have shown the presence of undesirable chemical substances in the water, sediment and fish from the lake. In this paper, the current monitoring programme for the undesirable chemical substances in the lake by the Ministry of Fisheries, Kenya has been reviewed with the aim of ensuring safe fish and fish products to all fish consumers and especially local consumers who could be more vulnerable to exposure to undesirable chemical substances through consumption of fish from the lake. The objective of the on-going programme has been expanded to include monitoring of toxic trace metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins in addition to pesticide residues. Sampling sites have been selected while taking into consideration areas of the lake that are likely to contain higher concentrations of chemical contaminants. Lake Kanyaboli which is closely linked to Lake Victoria has been included in the monitoring programme due to the increased farming activities at the adjoining Yala swamp. The specific objectives of the programme, rationale for the programme, sampling areas, the fish species to be monitored and the chemical contaminants to be measured have all been described. Also described are the period and frequency of sampling, and sampling and sample preparation methods. While sample analysis will continue to be done at an accredited laboratory, it is proposed that limits of detection (LOD) and limits of quantification (LOQ) be agreed on since the results as currently interpreted (pass/failure) do not provide any useful information concerning trends or levels of pollution in the lake. While the estimated costs for implementation of the programme may be high as calculated in the proposal, it is humbly submitted that the need to implement this monitoring programme cannot be overemphasised.

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Lake Victoria; Monitoring programme; Undesirable chemical substances; Fish.

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