Persistant Organic Pollutants; Determination of Contaminant Levels in Biota and Identification of Contaminant Sources
Persistant Organic Pollutants; Determination of Contaminant Levels in Biota and Identification of Contaminant Sources
The continued use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which are mainly pesticides in the Okavango Delta region and the riparian states of Angola and Namibia poses an ecological as well as health challenge for the riparian communities. In the past 4 years, a team led by Prof. Torto consisting of researchers from the University of Botswana and its affiliated Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre (HOORC) has been involved in a project whose main objective was to establish baseline levels of POPs in the Okavango Delta and the surrounding areas.

The trend in terms of pesticide concentrations in water showed higher levels of pesticides and similar organic compounds in the lower Boro and Thamalakane rivers as well as in Maun village. The same trend for concentration levels were observed for sediment samples that were collected at the same time as the water.

The second phase will elucidate the contamination patterns with reference to sediments samples. For example there is a need to identify the source of contamination through dating of the sediment samples that are associated with the pesticides. Such information will impact on the public awareness exercise and policy issues as indeed it has been observed during sampling trips that there are a lot of agricultural activities along the Boro and Thamalakane rivers. There is a further need to evaluate pesticide contamination levels in fish as these have ramifications for the livelihoods of the riparian population. Since the baseline studies have already indicated that there are pesticides levels in water and sediment, it is necessary to establish the contaminant levels in biota as fish is a major supplier of protein in the daily diets of the riparian communities.
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Project Snapshot

University of Botswana, Department of Chemistry
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 45,650.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 111,352.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 30,000.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Planning gef grant
? A proposal was submitted to SGP-GEF to request funding for a second phase to the project that would attempt to address issues arising from the present work.
Project sustainability
? Currently proposals have been and are being submitted to other funding organizations to enable further monitoring of pollutants in the Delta. A second phase of the project has commenced with aims to assess contamination levels and effects in biota as well as to estimate human exposure to the contaminants.
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Grantee Contact

Dr Veronica Obuseng
Phone: +267 3552479


University of Botswana, Department of Chemistry Private Bag UB00704
Gaborone , SADC ,


SGP Country office contact

Ms. Abigail Engleton
+267 363-3767
Mr Baboloki Autlwetse


UN Building, Government Enclave Corner Khama Crescent & President Drive P O Box 54
Gaborone, SADC