Skip to main content

Environmental Pollution: Threats, Impact on Biodiversity, and Protection Strategies

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Sustainable Utilization and Conservation of Africa’s Biological Resources and Environment

Part of the book series: Sustainable Development and Biodiversity ((SDEB,volume 32))

Abstract

Africa boasts immense natural and mineral resources, as they form the skeletal structure of the economy. These resources are distributed across the continent, on land, along the shoreline, and even in the deeper regions of the oceans. Over the last decades, the increased rate of industrialization and urbanization coupled with the increasing human population has contributed in a great way to the menace being caused by pollution. Over-exploitation, in terms of excessive or indiscriminate usage of resources, causes pollution, thereby leading to unsustainability in resource management. Conversely, issues of conflicts over resources and insecurity have also been on the increase most especially along the coastline of the African countries. The Niger-Delta region of Nigeria has been plagued with pollution resulting from oil spillage which has had a grave impact on the life of aquatic and terrestrial animals likewise the plant life. Many other countries within Africa have several industries producing a variety of products such as plastics, iron, pesticides, herbicides, paper, and several others of which their wastes degrade the environment. Countries located along the West African coast and South Africa are known for emitting high amounts of mercury due to their gold mining and coal combustion activities. Discharges or wastes from these industries go into the environment causing air and water pollution. Air pollutants, present within the atmosphere, pollute the water and soil in the form of atmospheric deposition. The major sources of water pollution are the urban and industrial effluent discharges into the aquatic environment. Most countries in Africa do not have enforced standards for effluent discharge into surface waters. All these pollutants affect aquatic biodiversity, as it leads to the migration of fish species from the polluted area in search of survival. The majority of the coastal waters in Africa are faced with this challenge, hence the need to find an immediate solution to help conserve aquatic life. To this end, this chapter will elaborate on the various sources of pollution and their impacts on the environment and biodiversity.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 189.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 249.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 249.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Adham KG, Al-Eisa NA, Farhood MH (2011) Risk assessment of heavy metal contamination in soil and wild Libyan jird Merioneslibycus in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. J Environ Biol 32:813–819

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Chibuike GU, Obiora SC (2014) Heavy metal polluted soils: effect on plants and bioremediation methods. Appl Environ Soil Sci 2014:1–12

    Google Scholar 

  • Dobson AP (1996) Conservation and biodiversity. New York: Scientific American library effects: habitat degradation, loss, and fragmentation. http://chesapeake.towson.edu/landscape/impervious/all_habitat.asp.

  • Eldredge N (2000) Life in the balance. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ

    Google Scholar 

  • Gaddi AV, Capello F (2018) Pollution and air pollution-related diseases: an overview. In: Capello F, Gaddi A (eds) Clinical handbook of air pollution-related diseases. Springer, Cham

    Google Scholar 

  • Giller KE, Witter E, Mcgrath SP (1998) Toxicity of heavy metals to microorganisms and microbial processes in agricultural soils. Soil Biol Biochem 30(10–11):1389–1414

    Google Scholar 

  • Ikhajiagbe B, Ogwu MC (2020) Hazard quotient, microbial diversity, and plant composition of spent crude oil polluted-soil. Beni-Suef Univ J Basic Appl Sci 9(26). https://doi.org/10.1186/s43088-020-00052-0

  • Ikhajiagbe B, Ogwu MC, Lawrence AE (2020) Single-tree influence of Tectonia grandis Linn. f. on plant distribution and soil characteristics in a planted forest. Bull Natl Res Centre 44:29. https://doi.org/10.1186/s42269-020-00285-0

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ikhajiagbe B, Ogwu MC, Ekhator PO, Omoayena II (2022a) Implications of soil nitrogen ehnacement on the yield performance of soybean (Glycine max) in cadmium- polluted soil. J Pollut Effects Control 10(2):1–12. 1000334. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.11.22.469589

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ikhajiagbe B, Chukwujama CA, Ikhajiagbe B (2022b) Intrinsic restoration of a ferruginous utisol using goosegrass (Eleusine indica L. [Gaertn.]) obtained from different land use areas. J Nat Resour Dev 12:1–18. https://doi.org/10.18716/ojs/jnrd2022.12.01

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ikhajiagbe B, Aituae W, Ogwu MC (2022c) Morpho-physiological assessment of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) seedlings exposed to simulated drought conditions. J Oil Palm Res 34(1):26–34. https://doi.org/10.21894/jopr.202100018

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Obidiozo OZ, Izah SC (2016a) Effects of Lambda cyhalothrin in protein and Albumin content in the kidney and liver of Parpohiocephalus obscurus. EC Pharmacol Toxicol 2(3):148–153

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Thomas S, Izah SC (2016b) Activities of electrolytes in kidney and liver of Clarias gariepinus exposed to fluazifop-p-butyl. J Biotechnol Res 2(9):68–72

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Thomas S, Izah SC (2016c) Evaluation of activities of transferases and phosphatase in plasma and organs of Clarias gariepinus exposed to Fluazifop-p-Butyl. J Environ Treatment Techn 4(3):94–97

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Kenobi A, Izah SC (2016d) Effect of dimethoate on some selected metabolites in the brain, liver and muscle of Clarias lazera. Sky J Biochem Res 5(4):63–68

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Ajimmy AR, Izah SC (2017a) Organosomatic index and behavioral response of Heterobranchus bidorsalis exposed to rhonasate 360sl containing glyphosate (isopropylamine salt glycine). ASIO J Microbiol Food Sci Biotechnol Innov 3(1):4–8

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Ollor AO, Izah SC (2017b) Effect of Diazinon on Organosomatic Indices and Behavioural Responses of Clarias gariepinus (a Common Niger Delta Wetland Fish). Greener J Biol Sci 7(2):15–19

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Izah SC, Johnson DT, Ejomarie OA (2017c) Effects of Lambda cyhalothrin on some electrolytes and metabolites in organs of Parpohiocephalus obscurus. Biotechnol Res 3(1):6–10

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Izah SC, Ntaka CM (2018a) Effect of Imidacloprid on Total Protein, Albumin and Electrolytes in Heterobranchus bidorsalis. Environ Anal Eco Stud 4(5):EAES.000597. 2018

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Puanoni AR, Izah SC (2018b) Evaluation of the effect of toluene (produced water component) on some blood cells and enzymes of Clarias gariepinus. MOJ Toxicol 4(6):440–444

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Izah SC, Okpogholor KD (2019a) Impact of aluminum phosphide on the transferases in liver and muscle of Parophiocephalus obscurus. J Plant Animal Ecol Special Issue 1(4):1–6

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Izah SC, Okoroba VR (2019b) Effect of toluene on the organosomatic indices and electrolytes in the liver and muscle of adult Clarias gariepinus. Sumerianz J Biotechnol 2(5):31–34

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Izah SC, Suobo K (2019c) Effect of phenol on the kidney and liver biochemical and metabolites of Clarias gariepinus. Noble Int J Sci Res 3(3):33–40

    Google Scholar 

  • Inyang IR, Akparata OJ, Izah SC (2019d) Evaluation of some blood cells and metabolites of Heterobranchus bidorsalis (Hybrid) exposed to sublethal concentrations of sarosate. Int J Res Environ Sci 5(1):17–23

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC (2018) Ecosystem of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria: potentials and threats. Biodiversity Int J 2(4):338–345

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC, Angaye TCN (2016) Heavy metal concentration in fishes from surface water in Nigeria: potential sources of pollutants and mitigation measures. Sky J Biochem Res 5(4):31–47

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC, Seiyaboh EI (2018) Challenges of wildlife with therapeutic properties in Nigeria; a conservation perspective. Int J Avian Wildlife Biol 3(4):259–264

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC, Srivastav AL (2015) Level of arsenic in potable water sources in Nigeria and their potential health impacts: a review. J Environ Treatment Techn 3(1):15–24

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC, Chakrabarty N, Srivastav AL (2016) A review on heavy metal concentration in potable water sources in Nigeria: human health effects and mitigating measures. Exposure Health 8:285–304

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC, Bassey SE, Ohimain EI (2017a) Assessment of heavy metal in cassava mill effluent contaminated soil in a rural community in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. EC Pharmacol Toxicol 4(5):186–201

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC, Bassey SE, Ohimain EI (2017b) Geo-accumulation index, enrichment factor and quantification of contamination of heavy metals in soil receiving cassava mill effluents in a rural community in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Mol Soil Biol 8(2):7–20

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC, Bassey SE, Ohimain EI (2017c) Assessment of pollution load indices of heavy metals in cassava mill effluents contaminated soil: a case study of small-scale cassava processing mills in a rural community of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Biosci Methods 8(1):1–17

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC, Bassey SE, Ohimain EI (2018a) Impacts of Cassava mill effleunts in Nigeria. J Plant Animal Ecol 1(1):14–42

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC, Aigberua AO, Nduka JO (2018b) Factors affecting the population trend of biodiversity in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Int J Avian Wildlife Biol 3(3):206–214

    Google Scholar 

  • Izah SC, Uzoekwe SA, Aigberua AO (2021) Source, geochemical spreading and risks of trace metals in particulate matter 2.5 within a gas flaring area in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Adv Environ Technol 7(2):101–118

    Google Scholar 

  • Kerfahi D, Tripathi BM, Slick JWF, Sukri RS, Jaafar S, Dong K, Ogwu MC, Kim. H- K. and Adams, J.M. (2019a) Soil metagenome of tropical white sand heath forests in Borneo: What functional traits are associated with an extreme environment within the tropical rainforest? Pedosphere 29(1):12–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1002-0160(18)60054-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kerfahi D, Ogwu MC, Ariunzaya D, Balt A, Davaasuren D, Enhmandal O, Purevsuren T, Batbaatar D, Tibbett M, Undrakhbold S, Boldgiv B, Adams JM (2019b) Metal tolerant fungal communities are delineated by high zinc, lead and copper concentrations in metalliferous Gobi desert soils. Microb Ecol. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00248-019-01405-8

  • Kyoto Protocol A (2005) Kyoto Protocol. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyoto_Protocol

  • Kyoto Protocol B (2005) Kyoto Protocol http://unfccc.int/essential_background/kyoto_protocol/status_of_ratification/items/2613.php.

  • Li Z, Ma Z, Van der Kuijp TJ, Yuan Z, Huang L (2014) A review of soil heavy metal pollution from mines in China: pollution and health risk assessment. Sci Total Environ 468–469:843–853. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.08.090

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Lim H, Lee J, Chon H, Sager M (2008) Heavy metal contamination and health risk assessment in the vicinity of the abandoned Songcheon Au-Ag mine in Korea. J Geochem Explor 96:223–230

    Google Scholar 

  • Mapping (2005) Mapping human impacts on the biosphere. http://www.globio.info/impacts/.

  • Mishra RK, Mohammad N, Roychoudhury N (2016) Soil pollution: causes, effects and control, Vol 3. Tropical Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur

    Google Scholar 

  • Noss R, LaRoe ET, Scott JM (2005) Endangered ecosystems of the united states: a preliminary assessment of loss and degradation. http://biology.usgs.gov/pubs/ecosys.htm.

  • Ogamba EN, Izah SC, Nabebe G (2015) Effects of 2, 4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid in the electrolytes of blood, liver and muscles of Clarias gariepinus. Nigerian J Agric Food Environment 11(4):23–27

    Google Scholar 

  • Ogamba EN, Charles EE, Izah SC (2021) Distributions, pollution evaluation and health risk of selected heavy metal in surface water of Taylor creek, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Toxicol Environ Health Sci 13(2):109–121. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13530-020-00076-0

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ogwu MC (2019) Towards sustainable development in Africa: the challenge of urbanization and climate change adaptation. In: Cobbinah PB, Addaney M (eds) The geography of climate change adaptation in urban Africa. Springer Nature, Switzerland, pp 29–55. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-04873-0_2

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Ogwu MC, Oladeji TS (2014) Effect of municipal waste effluent on albino rats [Rattus norvegicus (Amori)]. Ital J Occup Environ Hygiene 5(1):4–10

    Google Scholar 

  • Ogwu MC, Chime AO, Osawaru ME, Emoekpere R (2014a) Germination of watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunberg) Matsumura and Nakai] in lead polluted petri dish. Ital J Occup Environ Hygiene 5(3–4):126–130

    Google Scholar 

  • Ogwu MC, Osawaru ME, Ahana CM (2014b) Challenges in conserving and utilizing plant genetic resources (PGR). In J Genetics Mol Biol 6(2):16–22. https://doi.org/10.5897/IJGMB2013.0083

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ogwu MC, Aiwansoba RO, Osawaru ME (2015) Effects of indole-3-acetic acid on germination in lead polluted petri dish of Citrullus lanatus (Thunberg) Matsumura and Nakai, Cucurbitaceae. Aceh Int J Sci Technol 4(3):107–113. https://doi.org/10.13170/aijst.4.3.3021

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ogwu MC, Osawaru ME, Aiwansoba RO, Iroh RN (2016) Status and prospects of vegetables in Africa. In: Borokini IT, Babalola FD (eds) Conference proceedings of the joint biodiversity conservation conference of nigeria tropical biology association and Nigeria chapter of society for conservation biology on MDGs to SDGs: toward sustainable biodiversity conservation in Nigeria. University of Ilorin, Nigeria, pp 47–57pp

    Google Scholar 

  • Ogwu MC, Ahana CM, Osawaru ME (2018) Sustainable food production in Nigeria: a case study for Bambara groundnut (Vigna subterranean (L.) Verdc. Fabaceae). J Energy Natural Resour Manag 1:68–77

    Google Scholar 

  • Ogwu, M.C., Kerfahi, D., Song, H-K., Dong, K., Seo, H, Lim, S., Srinivasan, S., Kim, M.K., Waldman, B. and Adams, J.M. (2019a). Changes in soil taxonomic and functional diversity resulting from gamma irradiation. Sci Rep 9: 7894. doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-4441-7

  • Ogwu MC, Srinivasan S, Dong K, Ramasamy D, Waldman B, Adams JM (2019b) Community ecology of Deinococcus in an irradiated soil. Microb Ecol. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00248-019-01343-5

  • Ohimain EI, Izah SC (2013) Gaseous emissions from a semi-mechanized oil palm processing mill in Bayelsa state, Nigeria. Continental J Water Air Soil Pollut 4(1):15–25

    Google Scholar 

  • Ohimain EI, Izah SC, Abah SO (2013) Air quality impacts of smallholder oil palm processing in Nigeria. J Environ Protect 4:83–98

    Google Scholar 

  • Ojesanmi AS, Richard G, Izah SC (2017) Mortality rate of Clarias gariepinus fingerlings exposed to 2, 3-dichlorovinyl dimethyl Phosphate. J Appl Life Sci Int 13(1):1–6

    Google Scholar 

  • Osawaru ME, Ogwu MC (2014) Conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources. In: Omokhafe K, Odewale J (eds) Proceedings of 38th annual conference of the genetics society of Nigeria. Empress Prints Nigeria Limited, pp 105–119

    Google Scholar 

  • Osawaru ME, Ogwu MC, Braimah L (2013a) Growth responses of two cultivated Okra species (Abelmoschus caillei (A. Chev.) Stevels and Abelmoschus esculentus (Linn.) Moench) in crude oil contaminated soil. Nigerian J Basic Appl Sci 21(3):215–226

    Google Scholar 

  • Osawaru ME, Ogwu MC, Chime AO (2013b) Assessment of growth performance of two Okra species (Abelmoschus esculentus [L.] Moench and Abelmoschus caillei [A. Chev.] Stevels) exposed to crude oil contaminated soil. Nigerian J Biotechnol 26:11–20

    Google Scholar 

  • Pierzynski GM, Sims JT, Vance GF (2000) Soils and environmental quality, 2nd edn. CRC, Boca Raton, FL

    Google Scholar 

  • Richard G, Izah SC, Sawyer WE (2020) Soil-borne fungi community of a major dumpsite in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Int J Adv Res Microbiol Immunol 2(2):14–19

    Google Scholar 

  • Richard G, Sawyer WE, Izah SC (2021a) Outdoor air quality index of biomass combustion in the Niger Delta, Nigeria: a health impact perspective. J Adv Res Med Sci Technol 8(1):19–28

    Google Scholar 

  • Richard G, Sawyer WE, Izah SC (2021b) Health implications of air quality index of fine and coarse particulates during outdoor combustion of biomass in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Int J World Policy Dev Stud 7(2):21–26

    Google Scholar 

  • Secretariat of Convention of Biological Diversity (2000) Sustaining life on earth: how the convention on biological diversity promotes nature and human well-being [Brochure] Montreal, Quebec.

    Google Scholar 

  • Seiyaboh EI, Izah SC (2017) Review of impact of anthropogenic activities in surface water resources in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria: a case of Bayelsa state. Int J Ecotoxicol Ecobiol 2(2):61–73

    Google Scholar 

  • Seiyaboh EI, Izah SC (2019) Impacts of soil pollution on air quality under Nigerian setting. J Soil Water Sci 3(1):45–53

    Google Scholar 

  • Sherbinin A (2002) A CIESIN thematic guide to land-use and land-cover change. The Trustees of Columbia University

    Google Scholar 

  • Song H-K, Singh D, Tomlinson K, Yang X, Ogwu MC, Slik JWF, Adams JM (2019) Tropical forest conversion to rubber plantation in southwest China results in lower fungal beta diversity and reduced network complexity. FEMS Microbiol Ecol fiz092. https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiz092

  • Sweileh WM, Al-Jabi SW, Zyoud SH (2018) Outdoor air pollution and respiratory health: a bibliometric analysis of publications in peer-reviewed journals (1900 – 2017). Multidiscip Respir Med 13:15. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40248-018-0128-5

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Uzoekwe SA, Izah SC, Aigberua AO (2021) Environmental and human health risk of heavy metals in atmospheric particulate matter (PM10) around gas flaring vicinity in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Toxicol Environ Health Sci 13(4):323–335. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13530-021-00085-7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vwioko DE, Okoekhian I, Ogwu MC (2018) Stress analysis of Amaranthus hybridus L. and Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. Exposed to Sulphur and nitrogen dioxide. Pertanika J Trop Agric Sci 41(3):1169–1191

    Google Scholar 

  • Wackernagel M, Schulz NB, Deumling D, Linares AC, Jenkins M, Kapos V, Monfreda C, Loh J, Myers N, Norgaard R, Randers J (2002) Tracking the ecological overshoot of the human economy. PNAS 99(14):9266–9271

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  • Wetsone GE, Cousin R, Warren W (2005) Rewriting the rules: the bush administration’s first term environmental record. Natural Resources Defense Council, New York

    Google Scholar 

  • Wines M (2005) Malawi is burning, and deforestation erodes economy. New York Times, A, 3.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wood PM (2000) Biodiversity and Democracy: Rethinking Society and Nature. UBC Press, Vancouver

    Google Scholar 

  • World Wildlife Fund (2002) Debt for Nature Swaps. http://www.worldwildlife.org/conservationfinance/swaps/sld001.htm.

  • Zhao H, Xia B, Fan C, Zhao P, Shen S (2012) Human health risk from soil heavy metal contamination under different land uses near Dabaoshan mine. Southern China Sci Total Environ 417-418:45–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.12.047

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ayotunde Samuel Kolawole .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Kolawole, A.S., Iyiola, A.O. (2023). Environmental Pollution: Threats, Impact on Biodiversity, and Protection Strategies. In: Izah, S.C., Ogwu, M.C. (eds) Sustainable Utilization and Conservation of Africa’s Biological Resources and Environment. Sustainable Development and Biodiversity, vol 32. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-6974-4_14

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics