Global Programme of Action Fact Sheet Eastern Africa


Feb 22, 2014 (7 years and 8 months ago)


Global Programme of Action Fact Sheet

Eastern Africa


In general less than 10 per cent of the
population is

connected to a functioning
sewerage system

Most sewage is collected in tankers from ‘soakage pits’ and then
discharged into rivers and the
coastal zone.

Persistent Organic Pollutants

Hard data is lacking for the region but breakdown products of
DDT have

detected in the coastal waters of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, focused on the Msimbazi
and Kizinga rivers.

Heavy Metals

Again comprehensi
ve and solid data is unavailable. However, high levels of lead and
zinc have been

found in the Ungwana and Malin
di bays of Kenya.


There is concern over tar balls on beaches linked with tankers discharging wastes.
The region is an important transit r
oute for oil tankers carrying between 20,000 and
100,000 tonnes of crude annually from the Middle East to Europe and America.

Harbours can experience oil spills with significant impact on coastal wetland habitats,
the last of which was in 2005 in Momb



Not considered a big problem in the region.


Deforestation, land use changes and erosion are leading to large amounts of sediments
swilling down rivers.

The report highlights Kenya.

The Tana and Athi
Sabaki rivers of Kenya re
spectively deposit nearly five million
tones and up to 14 million tones of sediments annually into the ocean.

The sediment from the Athi

has extended the beach at Malindi Bay by
100 to 200 metres over the past 10 years.

In contrast the Tana,

which now has five major dams, has seen sediment levels
reaching the Indian Ocean fall by around 50 per cent over the past 40 years. This is in
turn the cause of extensive coastal erosion in the Ungwana Bay area.

Coastal and Marine Litter

Over the last 2
0 years, solid waste in
an East African city like Momba
sa has risen
1.6 times. Its population of 665,000 people generates around 220,000 tonnes with
shipping adding around 500 tonnes of solid waste annually.

A similar pattern is seen in Dar es Salaam.

Physical Alteration and Destruction of Habitats

Changes are occurring as a result of several factors including sand mining; impacts of
tourism in some places; destructive fishing practices uprooting features like seagrass
beds, urbanization at the coast a
nd dredging in ports and harbours.