Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health
ISSN (Print): 2334-3397 ISSN (Online): 2334-3494 Website: Editor-in-chief: Dibyendu Banerjee
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Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health. 2016, 4(1), 16-23
DOI: 10.12691/jephh-4-1-3
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Analysis of the Spatial Distribution of Lead Concentration in the Soil of Anka, Zamfara State, Nigeria

Felix Ndukson Buba1,

1African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English (ARCSSTEE), Obafemi Awolowo University Campus, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Pub. Date: April 18, 2016

Cite this paper:
Felix Ndukson Buba. Analysis of the Spatial Distribution of Lead Concentration in the Soil of Anka, Zamfara State, Nigeria. Journal of Environment Pollution and Human Health. 2016; 4(1):16-23. doi: 10.12691/jephh-4-1-3


Over the years Nigeria has experienced outbreaks of lead poisoning alleged to be caused by massive environmental contamination due to local gold ore processing. As recent as late last year (2015), such an outbreak was reported in Niger State while Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) in March 2010 reported an outbreak that claimed many lives, mostly children, in Zamfara State. Research on lead poisoning in Nigeria has mainly been concerned with the clinical component of the problem, i.e., testing for blood lead levels and treatment. Analysis of the spatial dimension of the problem is not adequately emphasized. However, investigating the spatial dimension (i.e. spatial spread/distribution of lead concentration) is very critical in planning interventions in areas affected by lead poisoning and for a methodical, future-focused planning. This study investigated the concentration of lead, copper, and cadmium in the soil of Anka, and also analyzed the spatial distribution and spread of lead concentration in Anka, one of the areas worst hit by the 2010 lead poisoning outbreak, with a view to giving aid to policy and decision makers in terms of priority areas for intervention and future planning. Soil samples were collected in mining and non-mining areas and analyzed for the concentration of lead, copper, and cadmium. Copper and cadmium were analyzed because they occur in association with lead and are also toxic in certain quantities. Inverse distance weighting (IDW) spatial interpolation technique was employed to determine the spatial distribution of the three heavy metals. The results showed high concentrations of lead in areas where local ore mining and processing are taking place and low concentrations in non-ore processing areas. The results also highlighted areas in urgent need of intervention.

geospatial heavy metals ore processing environmental contamination

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