Human Activities and Heavy Metal Concentrations in Aba River, Abia State, Nigeria (Published)
Water samples were collected from seven different locations along the Aba River close to various human, industrial, commercial and domestic activities. The heavy metals were analyzed using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (AAS). The result revealed that the concentration of some heavy metals like Iron, Copper, Manganese and Chromium are above the WHO and FMEnv Standard limits for surface water. These high values could be attributed to indiscriminate disposal of wastes into the river. The various parameters of the water samples from the control site (Okpu-Umuobu) were significantly different from those of locations close to the major industrial/commercial activities. This confirms the impact of human activities on the quality of the Aba River. The impacts of dredging and sand mining in and along the river bank were obvious. These activities have an adverse effect on the environment and ecology, speeding up flow and potentially increasing the risk of flooding downstream. This also has the potential to damage ecology by directly affecting its physical habitat, disrupting riverine processes and reduced connectivity with the floodplain. It is therefore recommended that effluent treatment plants be installed to treat waste generated before they are discharged into the stream as well as regular monitoring of the River should be encouraged by the regulatory bodies.
Keywords: Aba River, Anthropogenic Activities, Dredging, Effluents, Heavy Metals, Pollution