An Assessment of Air and Water Pollution Accrued from Stone Quarrying in Mukono District, Central Uganda

Article Authors: Bakamwesiga, H., Mugisha, W., Kisira, Y., & Muwanga, A. (2022)



The unquenchable demand for rock materials has attracted many companies within the building and construction sector to invest in stone quarrying. However, this has brought about environmental impacts with health threats to people. There is a paucity of information about the magnitude of pollution on air and water and how it varies with quarry sites. This study, therefore, investigated the physical impacts of quarrying on air and water and explored the in-situ mitigations to undesirable effects due to stone quarrying. Four active quarry sites were identified. Field measurements of dust (particulate matter) were conducted within the four quarry sites and in the nearby community.

Water samples were collected from quarry pits and nearby shallow wells for laboratory analysis of water quality. Statistical Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to test for differences in pollution across the four studied sites. Results revealed that, amidst the use of wet crushing and water sprinkling on bare surfaces, dust emission was higher than the recommended permissible standards levels with a significant variation across the quarry sites with ANOVA (P-value = 0.003) for PM 2.5 and (P-value = 0.04366) for PM 10. Water pollution was mainly contributed by the non-permissive levels of nitrates, chromium, and pH. Polluted air and water are associated with sparking off health threats to the users in the community. In conclusion, quarry companies should strengthen the already existing mitigation of dust suppression. The study recommends additional measures such as treating quarry pit water before discharging to the open environment to enhance environmental protection against the accumulating undesirable quarry impacts.

Bibliographical metadata

Journal Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection
Volume 10
Issue No. 5
Pages 25-42
ISSN 2327-4344
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