Water is a vital commodity of life and which it is polluted, it becomes useless. Water accounts for 80% of the human body, 60 to 65%, of the bodies of mammal birds and reptiles, about 80 of fish 90 to 99% in algae and vegetables and 50 to 75% in plants that grow on land.
Over two-third of the earth-surface is covered by water will less that one-third taken by land.
Water pollution is defined as the contamination of water with pollutant and other contaminants. It was observed that about 10% of the mass all pollutants is emitted as particles and liquids compared with 90% from gaseous compound (Miller, 1994 and Botkin and Keller, 1998).
Water pollution can also be defined as the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological material that cause harm or discomfort to human or other living organism, cause damage to the natural environment or built environment.
Brad and David (2005) suggests that nearly 1.5billion people lack says drinking water and that at least 5million deaths per-year can be contributed to water borne diseases.
According to World Bank (1978), water pollution refers to the degradation of water quality, it is any physical, biological or chemical change in water quality that is harmful to lung organism or make unsuitable for desired uses.
Water pollution s a major global problem which requires on-going evaluation and revision of water resources policy at all levels (international down to individual acquires and wells). It has been suggested that it is the leading world-wide cause of death of more than fourteen (14,000) people daily. Pollutants can be in form of solid particles, liquid droplets, or gases. In addition they may be natural or man-made (Aderson, 2005). The effects of pollution on water are diverse and effects human, plants, animals and the environment at large causing genetic disorders and disease.
Woodford (2006), stated that water pollution can be defined in many ways, usually it means one or more substances have built up in water in such an extent that they cause problems for animals, plants or people.
Muduka (2006), Opined that water pollution become obvious when it involves poisoning of drinking water or cause the death of a large number of fishes or the aquatic population. He further disclosed that water pollution is the direct or indirect human introduction of substances into the water environment such, as to harm living resources, affects human heath by various toxic and infiltrative disorders and impairs water environment quality.
The United State Environmental Agency (2002), refer to water pollution as an attraction of the physical, chemical, biological, bacteriological or radiological properties of water that results in an impairment of designated use.
Human play a major role in water pollution by modern agricultural activities which requires pesticides and herbicides that pollutes the water, letting out harmful sewage and other contaminant from industries and factories and household gabbages.
Odoko (2003) noted that water pollution is commonly rampant in oil producing communities such as Warri, Lagos, Edo. Bayelsa, Cross-River states during exploration of crude oil this, emitting pollutants into water and thus, making aquatic life and food productivity for its host communities.
The most serious water pollutants in terms of human health worldwide are pathogenic organisms. Amongst the most important water borne diseases are typhoid, children, bacteria and amoebic dysentery, enteritis, polio, infectious hepatics and schistosomiasis. At least 25million death each year are blamed on these water-related disease. Nearly two-third of the mortalities of children under 5years old are associated with water borne diseases (Cunnigham and Sagio, 2001). The WHO estimates that 80% of all sickness and diseases in less developed countries can be attributed to water borne infection agent and inadequate sanitation.
Water Pollution Affects the Following
Man should control this problem which has which now become a local and national threat. If the problem of water is not checked, it will cause more harm to the nation and world at large, since water is very vital to man and man can do without this basic factor.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
The problem of water pollution are so measures that exploration can no longer express it especially the one faced by the people of Kwale.
It is a well known fact that clean water is absolutely essential for healthy living. Adequate supply of clean water is basic need for human being on the earth, yet it is been observed that billions of people worldwide are deprive of this. This is threatened by poor management, over-exploitation, droughts, floods, ecological degradation (Kolawole, 2011). The major source of water pollution can be traced to direct discharge of industrial waste, waste from agricultural fields, and direct dumping of industrial effluents, oil spills, erosion, sediments, acid mine drainage, and septic tank disposal systems source.
Water pollutants include excessive amount of heavy metals, phosphorous, nitrogen, sodium, and other useful elements, certain radioactive isotopes, fecal coliform bacteria, as well as certain pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
The above and many other factors produces a very strong effect on water and such effects are diseases, economic depreciation and environmental destruction.
The effects of water pollution in Kwale cannot be over emphasized. The gas flaring by the oil companies such as Agip petroleum company, mid-western oil and Gas Company, sterling global company etc. are major contributors to water pollution in the area. The people of Kwale are prompt to different kind of diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, malaria, amoebic dysentery, polio, enteritis, infectious hepatitis and filariasis. The area also experience destruction of fishes, plants and animal life especially are occupied by the oil companies.
It is on these bass that the following question came to mind, are the people aware that their waters is been polluted? If they are what is the causes of water pollution? What are the health effects of water pollution? What are the relevant solution which should be applied including suggestions to stop these problems.
Based on the above problems and questions, this study examines the effects of water. Pollution on the health of the people of Kwale, Ndokwa west local government area of Delta State.
1.2 Aims and Objectives
The study is aimed at examining the health effects of water pollution in Kwale, Delta State.
To achieve this aim, the following objectives are outlined to:
For the purpose of this research, the following proposition were tested.
1.4 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on the health effects of water pollution in Kwale, the causes and the possible solution to the problems of water pollution in Kwale. The study covers the total of Kwale in Ndowa west local government area of Delta State, Nigeria.
1.5 Significant of the Study
This study is significant to the inhabitants, research institutions, the government and other policy makers. The study will go a long way in helping government at local, state and federal levels and other policy makers in indentifying the problems, causes, effects and solution to water pollution.
The study is also significant because it makes for awareness of the facts that man is the architect of his own fortune. The work will discuss the need for greater care of our environments since all these hazard are the results of various activities of man. It will serve the needs of many readership, which is not only limited to Kwale indigenes but to geographers, and the entire society of academia.
1.6 STUDY AREA
1.6.1 Location and Size
Kwale is located between latitude 60 09N and 60 29N of the equator and longitude 50301E and 60031E of the Green Witch meridian. Kwale is a town in Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta in southern Nigeria. As a matter of fact, it is the headquarter of Ndokwa West Local Government Area which occupies an area of 816km2. Like any other community, Kwale is divided into six (6) quarters as follows: Umusederi, Isumpe, Umusam, Umusadege, Umuseti and Ogbe-ani. Majority of the population of Kwale are affected by water pollution due to presence of oil companies in the area such as Agip Petroleum Company, Sterling Global Company etc. and the people are prompt to different kinds of diseases. The area also experience destruction of fishes, plants animal life.
Fig 1.1 Map of Kwale
Map of Kwale in Ndokwa West LGA.
Source: Ministry lands, survey and Urban Development Asaba (2004).
Fig 1.2: Map of Ndokwa west Showing Study Area
Map of Ndokwa-west showing study area
Source: Ministry lands, survey and Urban Development Asaba (2004).
1.6.2 Relief and Drainage
The topography is a low plain with elevation of 21 meters above sea level (Ndakara, 2011). The area consist mainly of sedimentary rocks formations deposited in three cycles of marine transgression.
According to Odemerho (2007) the surficial geology comprises the sombreiro-warri deltanic plan formation. The sombreiro-warri, am area also referred to as the “Urhobo Plains” (Aweto, 1987).
The soil in this study area, like those of the forest ecosystems difference somewhat in different areas of the region, mainly in response to pollutions experience in the area and the underlying parent materials. The soil classified according to the U.S soil taxonomy system (soil survey staff, 1994) under the Affisls, Oxisols/utisols orders.
Warn temperatures and abundant available of moisture increases the rate of leading in utisols, and this cause the soil to have low qualities of base cation. Also, the nature of the land makes for severe water erosion during and after rainfall.
The velocity of the water is high as it flown along the sloppy surface because of the factors of pollution e.g oil spillage, surface run-off containing pesticides and insecticides, discharge of untreated sewage, industrial discharge of chemicals waste and by product, underground storage tank leakage lending to soil contamination etc. The rivers and creeks in this area are bordered by natural leaves, which are of great topographical importance because this is where most farming activities takes place.
Kwale is located with humid-sub tropical climate of AF Koppen’s classification with annual rainfall above 200mm and average temperature between 250c – 280c with little variation throughout the year (Efe, 2006).
Kwale is characterized with two climate season which are wet and dry season. The wet season starts from April and ends in October. Rainfall is heaviest during the month of July and decreases towards the month of August. Another period of heavy rainfall is experience in September which decreases towards the month of October. There is rainfall break in the month of August for which the atmospheric condition is dry, sunny and brings temporary relief during the wet season and this is referred to as August break.
The dry season commerce in November and ends in March, December to early February usually experience dry, dusty and cold wind known as harmattan. It is characterized by the prevailing tropical hot climate registering annual temperature between 220c to 330c. Kwale also experience tidal flood rise about 12m to 14m submerging land surface depending on the volume of water in a particular year.
The natural vegetation of the area is moist evergreen tropical rainforest with tree form ranging in strata from shrubs to tall members. The natural vegetation has been affected by man owing to the prevalence of agricultural activities, construction, mining etc such that the originally contiguous ecosystem now feature as forest islands (Ndakara 2008: 2011).
Agricultural practices of clearing and burning of forests, mining, construction, drilling etc. has impacted much of the environment and this owes much to the opening up of the forest covers to various weather and climate effects, while the tress do not easily allow regeneration due to their morphological attributes. The trees, which usually shield up the soil from the direct effects of winds and rain have given way to the torture of the environmental attributes thereby leading to flooding and erosion in the farmland areas as well as within the settlement area. One of the most ravaging flood event in Kwale was the 2012 flood that almost wiped out the community. The effect was felt directly in lives, properties and commercial activities such as hawking, marketing, transportation etc.
The natural vegetation in this area has been affected because of the factors of pollution such as oil spillage, application of herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers during agricultural activities, discharge of untreated sewage, industrial discharge of chemical waste and by products, underground storage tank leakage leading to soil contamination, flooding, desertification and drought in the area.
The soil in Kwale could be classified according to the U.S soil taxonomy system (soil survey staff, 1994) under the Affisls, Oxisols/Utisols orders.
Alfisols are moderately fertile soil that form under forest, vegetation where the parent materials have undergone significant weathering. Warm temperature and abundant availability of moisture increases the rate of leaching in utisols, and this cause the soil to have low qualities of base cation. The area also consist of sedimentary rocks formation deposited in three cycles of marine transgression.
The soil could also be classified as sandy loamy and it is very porous, a condition that makes for high percolation of water and mineral. It is also slightly acidic in nature.
The soil in this area have been affected by different factor of pollution such as mining construction, agricultural activities, drilling etc has impacted much of the environment and this owes much to the opening up of the sol which has resulted in flooding, drought, desertification, water and soil erosion.
With the growing to satisfy their basic needs of life, the inhabitants of Kwale are engaged in various socio-economic activities.
Farming is the main economic activity in the area and is typically of subsistence level, although some commercial holdings takes place especially for tree crop production such as oil palm trees. The main food crops grown include cassava, yam, maize, okro, vegetables, plantain and pepper. Other primary activities include mining, forestry and hunting.
As a local government headquarter various of skilled and unskilled workers such as civil servant, labourers, politicians also take place.
Kwale also have secondary activities like manufacturing, industries, workshops and factories. Although, only small scale industries are prevalent especially in tailoring, furniture and metal works. Others are the making of mats, brooms, basket, goldsmitting, printing, electrical repairs, printings and publishing, manufacturing and repairs of footwares, barbing and hair dressing etc.
Tertiary activates in area are dominated by services such as teachers, doctors, nurses, bankers and others. The region of Kwale contribute significantly to the oil and gas industries, which is the ministry of nation. There are oil campanies such as Agip Oil Company Mid-western Company, Sterling Global Company and44 others in Kwale.
Transportation is another means of tertiary activities in the area. The dominant means of transport is motorcycles, vehicles, bicycles etc.
A lot of people are also self employed in the telecommunication sectors. The three major operators in Kwale are MTN, Airtel and Globacom.
However, most of these activities have implication on the water of the area. For instance, oil spills from the oil companies, application of herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers during farming activities, which enters the water system via run-off, letting out harmful sewage and other contaminant from industries, factories and household gabbages, underground storage tank leakages leading to soil contamination, untreated sewage, industrial discharge of chemical waste and by products have polluted the water of the area and all this problems have drastically reduce the quality and quantity of the waters in the study area.
Population can be defined as a total number of people resident in a particular geographic unit at a particular geographic time. Population is a dynamic variable as such it changes in size and quality over time (Olomo and Sajini, 2011).
Kwale is the headquarter of Ndokwa West Local Government Area, which has a population of 149, 325 peoples as at the 2006 census. At that same time, Delta State population was 4, 098, 391 and the Nigeria population was recorded to be 140, 003, 541.
Every human being has a basic needs, that is food, clothing and shelter. Materials particularly those sourced from the forest are needed to satisfy these basic needs. The inhabitant of Kwale have seen the forest as a sources of woods for building construction to provide shelter for the populace. They also see the soil as fertile land for agriculture in order to provide food. They therefore, engaged in in different agricultural activities such as bush burning, application insecticides and herbicides, clearing etc which has great effect on the water of the region, resulting to the problems associated with water pollution in the region.