An assessment of the impacts of Gypsum mining on water quality in Kajiado County, Kenya


  • Kefa Omoti Kabarak University
  • Jackson J. Kitetu Kabarak University
  • Joseph M. Keriko Kabarak University



Extractive Industries, Environmental Impacts, Water Quality


In the recent past, Kenya has witnessed increased activity in the extractive industry targeting minerals such as titanium, gypsum and gold to name a few. Mining activities are a potentially important contributor to water contamination. Discussions in the literature on impacts of gypsum mining on water quality are not conclusive because they tend to be site specific and lacking in details. This study sought to establish the impacts of gypsum extraction activities on water quality in Kajiado. The study adopted the descriptive/diagnostic design. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used to collect data from a sample of 95 respondents and key informants selected through Simple Random Sampling, Stratified Random Sampling and Purposeful Sampling. The APHA (1999) protocol was followed in the collection, storage and analysis of samples. Results indicated significant indirect influence of mining activities on water quality parameters. Even though chemical contamination was insignificant, the bacteriological concentration indirectly arising from gypsum mining was higher than WHO (2006) guide values and therefore exposed the public to waterborne diseases. The mean total coliform concentration in the surface water samples was 555/100 ml, with a minimum of 75 and maximum of 2400. There was no significant difference in the disease burden for children aged below 5 years and the rest of the population (p ≤ 0.206). The study recommends awareness creation on safe use of mine pond water.


Download data is not yet available.


Afroz, R.; Masud, M. M.; Aktar, R. and Duasa, J. B. (2014). Water pollution: Challenges and future direction for water resources management policies in Malaysia. Environment and urbanization ASIA 5 (1) 63 - 81

Ahmad, A. F.; Sharma, H. K. J.; Ahmad, R. M. and Rao, R. J. J. (2014). Impact of mining activities on various environmental attributes, with specific reference to health impacts in Shatabdi Purim, Gwalior, India. International Research Journal of Environmental Sciences, Vol. 3(6) 81- 86.

Al-Harthi, A. A. (2001). Environmental impacts of gypsum mining operations at Maqna area, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. Environmental geology, Vol. 41(1-2) 209- 218.

Aigibedion, I. and Iyayi, S. E. (2007). Environmental effects of mineral exploitation in Nigeria. International Journal of Physical Sciences Vol 2 (2) 033 - 038

Akabzaa, T. M.; Banoeng-Yakubo, B. K. and Seyire, J. S. (2007). Impact of mining activities on water resources in the vicinity of the Obuasi mine. West Africa journal of applied zoology, Vol. 11(1) 101- 108.

Amankwah, E. (2013). Impact of illegal mining on water resources on water resources for domestic and irrigation purposes. Journal of earth sciences, Vol. 2 (3) 117- 121

American Public Health Association (APHA), American Water Works Association (AWWA) and Water Environment Federation (WEF). (1999). Standard methods for the examination of water and waste water (20th edition). United Book Press, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland.

Aremu, M. O.; Atolaiye, B. D. S. and Labaram, L. (2010). Environmental implications of metal concentrations in soil, plant foods and pond in areas around the derelict udege mines of Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Chemical society of Ethiopia, Vol. 24(3) 351 – 360.

Attia, K. E. (1994). Environmental accounting in a developing country: A case study of Egypt. PhD Dissertation, submitted to the department of economics, University of Strathclyde.

Bayram, A. and Onsoy, H. (2014). Sand and gravel mining impact on the surface water quality: a case study for the city of tirebololn (giresun province in Turkey). Environmental earth sciences, Vol. 73 1997 – 2011.

Dashwood, H. S. (2007). Canadian mining companies and corporate social responsibility: weighing the impact to global norms. Canadian journal of political science Vol. 40 (1) 129 - 156.

Ezeh, H. N. and Chukwu. E. (2011). Small scale mining and heavy metal pollution of agricultural soils. The case of Ishagu mining district, south eastern Nigeria. Journal of geology and mining research, Vol. 3 (4) 87 - 104

Republic of Kenya (RoK) (2006). Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA): Air quality regulations. Nairobi. Government Printer

Fink, G.; Gunther, I. and Hill, K. (2011). The effect of water and sanitation on child health: evidence from demographic and health surveys, 1986 – 2007. International journal of epidemiology, Vol. 40 (1) 1196 - 1204

Galay, K. (2008). Socio-economic and environmental impacts of Khotagpa Gypsum mine. Journal of Bhutan studies, Vol 18 50 - 81

Gilbert, N. (2010). Mountain mining damages streams. Weekly Journal of Science, 466, 806

Gyang, J. D. and Ashano, E. C. (2010). Effects of mining on water quality and the environment: a case study of parts of the Jos plateau, North-central Nigeria. The pacific journal of science and technology, Vol. 11 (1) 631 - 639

Kinney, P. L.; Gichuru, M. G.; Close, N. V.; et al (2012). Traffic impacts of Pm 2.5 air quality in Nairobi. Journal of environmental science and policy, 14 (4) 369- 378

Kitetu, J. J. (1997). Assessing the environmental impact of sand harvesting in seasonally dry Kenyan rivers. PhD thesis, institute of environmental and biological sciences, environmental science division. Lancaster University, Lancaster. England- United Kingdom

Magombedze, C. (2006). Geochemical processes controlling the generation and environmental impacts of acid mine drainage in semi arid conditions. A case study of sulphide metal mines in Zimbabwe. PHD dissertation, Norwegian university of science and technology.

Margutti, R. (2009). The gypsum mining area in the Vena del Gesso biodiversity landscapes (Monte tondo quarry, Emilia Romagna region): Quarrying and old mine tunnels environmental impacts on natural karst systems and ground water quality. Scientific acta, Vol. 3 (2) 31- 37.

Merriam, E. R.; Petty, T. J.; Strager, P.; Maxwell, E. R. and Ziemkiewicz, P. F. (2013). Scenario analysis predicts context dependent stream response to land use change in a heavily mined Central Appalachian watershed, fresh water science Vol. 32 (4) 1246 – 1259.

Mestre, M. A. (2009). Environmental impact of mine drainage and its treatment on aquatic communities. PhD dissertation submitted to the school of Geography and environmental sciences, University of Birmingham.

Nganje, T. N.; Adamu, C. I.; Ntekin, E. E. E et al (2010). Influence of mine drainage on water quality along river Nyaba, in Enugu, South-eastern Nigeria. African journal of environmental science and technology, Vol. 4 (3) 132 - 144

Nude, P. M.; Foli, G. and Yidana, S. M. (2011). Geochemical assessment of impact of mine soils on the quality of stream sediments within the Obuasi mines environment, Ghana. International journal of geosciences, Vol. 2 (2011) 259 – 266.

Ladwani, K. D.; Ladwani, K. D; Manik, V. S. et al (2013). Assessments of hazardous and non-hazardous status of solid waste generated at ETP of Bromine plant for its potential use. Universal journal of environmental research and technology, Vol. 3 (1) 50 - 54

Lake, I. R.; Swift, L.A.; Catling. I. et al (2009). Effects of water hardness on cardiovascular mortality: an ecological time series approach. Journal of public health, Vol. 32 (4) 479 - 487

Liakopoulos, A.; Lemiere, B.; Michae, K.; Crouzet, C.; Laperche, V.; Romaidis, I.; Idrougas, I. and Lassin A. (2010). Environmental impacts of unmanaged solid waste at the former base metal mining and Ore processing site (Kirk), Greece.). Waste management and research Journal, Vol. 28(11) 996 - 1009.

Lindberg, T. T.; Bernhardt, S. E.; Bier, R.; Merola, B. R.; Vengosh, A. and Giulio, R. T. (2011). Cumulative impacts of mountain top mining on an Appalachian watershed: Proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 108(52) 200929 - 00934.

Odira, O. S.; Mboya, M. C. and Ochieng, O. J. (2012). Assessment of anthropogenic activities and climate change activities and climate change effects on the sustainability of the Tudor creek ecosystem. Journal of environmental science, Vol. 231- 252

Ochieng, G. M.; Seanego, E. S. and Nkwonta, O. I (2010). Impacts of mining on water resources in South Africa: A review. Journal of scientific research and essays, Vol. 5 (22) 3351 - 3357

Ohimain, E. (2003). Environmental impacts of oil mining activities in the Niger Delta mangrove ecosystem. 8th international congress on mine water and environment, Johannesburg, South Africa, 503 - 517

Padmalal, D. and Maya, K. (2014). Impacts of river sand mining. Environmental science and engineering (2014), 31-56. Springer, Netherlands.

Pyatt, F. B. and Grattan, J. P. (2001). Some consequences of ancient mining activities on the health of ancient and modern human populations. Journal of public health medicine, Vol. 23 (3) 235 – 236.

Republic of Kenya (RoK) (1969). Geological Survey of Kenya: Minerals of Kenya (Bulletin Number 11). Department of mines, Cathedral road, Nairobi- Kenya: C. G. Bois and J. Walsh.

Republic of Kenya (RoK) (2007). The Kenya Vision 2030. Nairobi. Ministry of Planning and national development.

Republic of Kenya (RoK) (2010). The Constitution of Kenya, 2010. Nairobi. Government Printer.

Siegel, S. (2013). The ethics of mining. Ethics and international affairs, Vol. 27 (1) 3 - 7

Silengo, M. (1996). An integrated framework for environmental management and protection in Zambia. PHD dissertation, Environmental resources unit, University of Salford, England.

Ternjej, I.; Mihaljevic, Z.; Ivkovic, M.; et al (2014). The impact of gypsum mine water: a case study on morphology and DNA integrity in the freshwater invertebrate Gamarrus balanicus. Journal of environmental pollution, Vol. 189 (2014) 229 - 238

Tiwary, R. K. (2001). Environmental impact of coal mining on water regime and its management. Water air and soil pollution, Vol. 132(1-2)185 - 199.

United States Department of Interior (USDI) (2000). Effects of coal- mine drainage on water quality in the allengheny and monongaliela river basins: sulfate transport and trends .United States Geological Survey. Reston, Virginia: I. James, I. Sams and M. Beer

Vermeulen, D. and Bester, M. (2010). Investigation of potential water quality impacts associated with mining of the shallow watering coal reserves, west of daarby forest Limpopo province. South Africa institute of groundwater studies, University of the Free State, South Africa. pp 531 - 54.

Washington State Department of Ecology (WSDE) (2003). A citizen’s guide to understanding and monitoring lakes and streams. Washington. Department of Ecology

World Health Organization (WHO) (2003). Hardness in drinking: Background document for development of WHO guidelines for drinking water quality. Geneva, WHO Press

World Health Organization (WHO) (2005). Air quality guidelines for particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide: Global updates; summary of risk assessments. Geneva, WHO Press

World Health Organization (WHO) (2006). Guidelines for drinking water quality: First addendum to the 3rd edition. Vol.1, recommendations. Geneva, WHO Press

Yin, R. K. (1994). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Applied social research methods series, Vol. 5. Sage Publications.

Younger, P. L. and Wolkersdorfer, C. (2014). Mining impacts on the fresh water environment: Technical and managerial guidelines for catchment scale management. Mine water and environment, Vol. 23(1) S2 - S80.

Zabowski, D.; Henry, C. L.; Zheng, Z. and Zhang, Z. (2001). Mining impacts on metal content of water, soil and stream sediments in the Hei River basin, China. Water, air and soil pollution, Vol. 131(1-4), 261 - 273.



How to Cite

Kefa Omoti, Jackson J. Kitetu, & Joseph M. Keriko. (2016). An assessment of the impacts of Gypsum mining on water quality in Kajiado County, Kenya. Kabarak Journal of Research & Innovation, 4(1), 91–104.

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.