The influence of landuse activities on water quality of river Sosiani in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
Ontumbi, George Morara
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Water is vital to the survival of all living organisms. However this valued resource is increasingly being threatened by changes in human activities in river catchment areas. The River Sosiani drains rich agricultural lands and receives effluent discharges from the town, neighbouring settlements and farms. The research objectives for the study were; identifying land use activities within the River Sosiani catchment area, analysing the spatial-temporal variation of selected physical variables of water quality along selected points in River Sosiani, establishing the relationship between land use activities and water quality within the River Sosiani catchments' area at selected points along the Sosiani River channel and finally establishing the effects of water quality on human health in the River Sosiani catchment. The studies aimed at ascertaining the quality of water in river Sosiani and therefore recommend sustainable management. The study adopted experimental and descriptive research designs. The water samples were subjected to standard test procedures for Total suspended solids, Turbidity, Electrical conductivity, temperature, pH, Nitrates, total phosphorous and Feacal coliform concentration between February 2014 and June 2014 for the wet and dry seasons. Water samples were collected from four different sites namely; the Flax Bridge, Plateau Bridge, the Eldoret-Nairobi Road Bridge and at the Kipkaren Bridge. The Uasin Gishu County Public Health Officer provided information on the waterborne diseases treated in five health facilities within the Sosiani River catchment. One way ANOYA and paired t-tests analysis were used to determine statistical significant variations in water quality along the river. The main land use activities were identified by the use of land sat images. The main land use activities identified included forestry, settlement and agricultural. During the dry season there were no significance difference in mean temperatures upstream and downstream CANOYA d.f =3, f =0.127 and p = 0.943) while the values of water pH ranged between 6.9 and 7.8 and electrical conductivity ranged between 361lS/CM and 1421lS/CM. During the dry season feacal coliforms ranged from 28cfull00 ml at Flax to 396 cfullOO ml at the Kipkaren Bridge with a mean value of 161.94 ± 19.46. On the other hand during the wet season the feacal coliforms had mean concentrations ranging from 26 cfull00 ml at Flax to 430cfu/l00 ml at the Kipkaren Bridge with a mean value of 181.60 ± 21.16. The levels of total phosphorous and nitrates recorded high quantities during the wet season as compared to the dry season. This study established that River Sosiani is stressed by human activities within its catchment and therefore combined conservation efforts of the county government authorities, Environmentalists, NEMA and the riparian communities would be necessary to check further degradation of the river.