Effect of Eichhornia crassipes on coliforms load in small water bodies within Lake Victoria basin, Kenya

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Academic Journals
The study investigates the effects of Eichhornia crassipes (water hyacinth) infestation based on coliform loads which are pollution indicator organisms. These dams have fish and the waters are commonly used for domestic purposes without any treatment hence it is necessary to check their status. Sampling was done on 25 small water bodies and from which water samples were taken for microbial determination. Membrane filtration method was used to enumerate fecal coliforms by use lauryl sulphate broth and incubated at 44 ± 0.5°C for 18 to 24 h. The results show that water bodies infested by water hyacinth harbored higher levels of fecal coliforms compared to those devoid of the weed. The high fecal coliform levels have negative impacts on the lives of communities using these water bodies. In addition, it reduces native species and disrupts food chains and nutrient cycle. The small water bodies within the Lake Victoria basin need frequent monitoring in order to give the relevant authorities concrete information for proper sensitization to the communities. Water hyacinth should also be properly managed so that it does not chock dams that are used for domestic and fishing activities.