Environmental and health impacts of effluents from textile industries in Ethiopia: the case of Gelan and Dukem, Oromia Regional State

  • Diriba Dadi
  • Till Stellmacher
  • Feyera Senbeta
  • Steven Van Passel
  • Hossein Azadi


This study focuses on four textile industries (DH-GEDA, NOYA, ALMHADI, and ALSAR) established between 2005 and 2008 in the peri-urban areas of Dukem and Gelan. The objectives of the study were to generate baseline information regarding the concentration levels of selected pollutants and to analyze their effects on biophysical environments. This study also attempts to explore the level of exposure that humans and livestock have to polluted effluents and the effects thereof. The findings of this study are based on data empirically collected from two sources: laboratory analysis of sample effluents from the four selected textile plants and quantitative as well as qualitative socioeconomic data collection. As part of the latter, a household survey and focus group discussions (FGDs) with elderly and other focal persons were employed in the towns of Dukem and Gelan. The results of the study show that large concentrations of biological oxygen demand (BOD5), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS), and pH were found in all the observed textile industries, at levels beyond the permissible discharge limit set by the national Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). Furthermore, sulfide (S2), R-phosphate (R-PO4 3), and Zn were found in large concentrations in DH-GEDA and ALMHADI, while high concentrations were also identified in samples taken from ALSAR and ALMHADI. In spite of the clear-cut legal tools, this study shows that the local environment, people, and their livestock are exposed to highly contaminated effluents. We therefore recommend that the respective federal and regional government bodies should reexamine the compliance to and actual implementation of the existing legal procedures and regulations and respond appropriately.


Pollution assessment Environmental quality Human health Water pollution Textile effluent 



In preparing this work, different organizations and institutions contributed immensely and therefore deserve acknowledgment. I would like to thank WHO for their financial support in collecting field samples, the purchase of chemicals, and various types of equipment required for the laboratory activities. I would also like to thank DAAD and the Post Graduate Program at Addis Ababa University for their financial support during my field stay in order to conduct the household survey. The authors wish to thank Ms. Bethany Gardner from the Department of Linguistics, the State University of New York at Binghamton, for her kind help in improving the English of this text.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diriba Dadi
    • 1
  • Till Stellmacher
    • 2
  • Feyera Senbeta
    • 3
  • Steven Van Passel
    • 4
    • 5
  • Hossein Azadi
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.College of Social Science and Humanities, Department of GeographyMadda Walabu UniversityBale RobeEthiopia
  2. 2.Center for Development Research (ZEF)University of BonnBonnGermany
  3. 3.College of Development Studies (CDS)Addis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  4. 4.Department of Engineering ManagementUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  5. 5.Centre for Environmental SciencesHasselt UniversityHasseltBelgium
  6. 6.Economics and Rural DevelopmentUniversity of LiègeLiègeBelgium
  7. 7.Department of GeographyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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