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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Applied Science (IJRIAS) |Volume VII, Issue XI, November 2022|ISSN 2454-6194

Contamination and Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Stream Sediments of Bambui Area, Western Cameroon

Lemnyuy Prosper Yiika1*, Ndema Mbongué Jean-Lavenir2,3, Mboudou Germain Marie Monespérance2, Emmanuel Eseya Mengu2, Bewah Emilien Bih2,4
1Department of Geology, Mining and Environmental Science, University of Bamenda, Bamenda, Cameroon
2Department of Geology, University of Buea, Buea, Cameroon
3Department of Earth Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon
4University of the West of Scotland-London Campus
*Corresponding Author

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: The Bambui area is located at the foot of the Bamenda Mountains, which is part of the Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL). The study area consists of different rock types such as alkali basalt, trachyte, rhyolite and ignimbrite with a granitic basement of the Pan Africa Fold belt. The main objective of this work was to assess the contamination and risk pose by heavy metals in stream sediments of Bambui area. Heavy metal in the representative stream sediment samples collected were determined using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (ICP-MS). Elevated levels of Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb, Th, V, Zn, La, Fe and Ti could be attributed to geological and anthropogenic metal input sources in the area. Assessment of contamination factor, degree of contamination, modified degree of contamination, enrichment factor, ecological risk factor and potential ecological risk index showed that the sediments had a low to high ecological risk index. Pollution load index (0.78-1.60), geo-accumulation load index (1.73-5641.91) and anthropogenic metal input (0-5.25) indicate heavy metal contamination in the study area. Geological origin, agricultural practices, municipal waste disposal and animal manure were identified as the major sources of heavy metals in the stream sediments of the study area.

Keywords: Bambui area, Heavy metal, stream sediment, risk assessment, contamination, Cameroon


Heavy metals pollution from municipal solid waste, agricultural practices, sewage, road traffic emissions and other human inputs has become a serious problem due to their long-term accumulation and toxicity. Heavy metals are environmental pollutants that affect various environmental compartments in nature. The environment is exposed to a variety of pollutants through the aquatic environments and affects the ecosystems. This is because they are often major reservoirs of many pollutant [1], [2]. Heavy metals contamination poses is a serious threat to the aquatic system due to its toxicity, profusion, abundance, environmental persistence and subsequent levels of accumulation in the aquatic environment [3], [4], [5]. Sediment is widely used as an environmental indicator to assess metal contamination in the watercourse [4], [6]. In generally, sediments provide useful information about the state of environmental and geochemical