Assessment of pesticide concentrations in environmental and biological parameters from two Kenyan Rift Valley Lakes

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

In the last two decades Kenyan agriculture has developed rapidly. In particular, horticultural and floricultural activities have intensified on the riparian fringe of Lake Naivasha, a RAMSAR site. The lake supports a large variety of wildlife and avifauna in particular. In the 1980s, the African Fish-Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) population on the lake was the densest in Africa. As a top predator resident in the Kenyan Rift Valley Lakes the African Fish-Eagle is a good indicator of general ecosystem health but is also highly susceptible to toxic effects of pesticide contamination...Globally, most organochlorine pesticides have been banned, but endosulfan, HCH and methoxychlor are widely used in Kenya, while aldrin, dieldrin and lindane are restricted and DDT, endrin, and heptachlor banned. Studies examining residue levels of these harmful chemicals in African Fish-Eagles are limited to small sample sizes examined in the 1970s and 1980s. This study is the first comprehensive investigation of organochlorine residue contamination in biological and environmental parameters from Lake Naivasha and the control water body at Lake Baringo.

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