Effect of Pesticides Usage on Water Quality of the Tano River in the Asunafo South District of Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana

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In order to increase crop yields and ensure food security, farmers have resorted to the use of assorted pesticides on their crops. Overuse and misapplication of these pesticides can have negative effects on the environment, especially on water bodies. In this study, the levels of pesticide residues in water samples from the Tano River in two vegetable growing communities of Dantano and Siana in the Asunafo South District in Ghana were assessed. Water samples were collected from the Tano river in January and February 2012 for physico-chemical and pesticide residue analysis. The extraction of the pesticide residues was done by liquid –liquid extraction method and analysed by GC-Electronic Capture Detector. Determination of physico-chemical parameters was by standard methods. The results from the pesticide analysis showed the presence of some pesticide residues. Aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, chlordane, heptachlor and cis-heptachlor epoxide levels were above the WHO permissible limits for drinking, while residues such as isomers of HCH, chlordane, and DDT and its metabolites were below the limits. Most of the physico-chemical parameters measured at the two sampling locations were fairly similar over the sampling period, and did not appear to have been impacted negatively by the farming activities. However, the presence of the residues can be directly attributed to the farming activites.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science, October-2012