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Rwanda has abundant rainfall and water resources, totaling 5 billion cubic meters per year. However, accessibility to safe and clean water has been a problem that troubles the country. Chinese scientists, after a research and analysis on 23 Rwandan rivers, suggest that less pollution should be introduced to the rivers in Rwanda, especially its agricultural regions.

Agricultural and residential expansion, river silting caused by improper land use, sand mineralization due to industrial waste dumping, all leads to the deterioration of the country’s river water quality.

Through investigation and assessment of the spatial distribution of water quality of 23 Rwandan rivers that drain into the Lake Kivu in Rwanda, LI Lanhai and his team from the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that water quality is largely affected by human activities.

“Good water quality (negligibly polluted) was located in areas dominated by forestland while bad and very bad classes of rivers (severely polluted) were influenced by the dominance of farmland,” said LI.

The study collected field data and analyzed the parameters including suspended solids, turbidity, biological oxygen demand, nitrate, temperature, total phosphorus, pH, fecal coliform and dissolved oxygen.

Their results were published on International Journal of Desalination and Water Treatment, entitled “Spatial pattern assessment of Lake Kivu basin rivers water quality using National Sanitation Foundation Water Quality and Rivers Pollution Indices”.

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