Assessment of Arsenic Concentration Distribution and Related Diseases in the Obuasi Municipality of Ghana

Peter Ekow Baffoe


Analytical results for arsenic concentration levels for ground water samples obtained from the Obuasi Municipality in the Ashanti Region of Ghana were compiled. Arsenic is dangerous to human health due to its toxicity. The threat of arsenic to the public sometimes stems from its contamination of ground water. The locations of the sample sources were mapped. The concentration levels were found ranging from 7.2 to 34.5 micrograms per liter (μg/L). The results showed that wells and boreholes around the Nyamso River had higher arsenic concentrations. The data on arsenic related diseases from major health facilities were collated and analysed. Arsenic related diseases pertaining in the metropolis include bronchitis, skin cancer and other skin diseases.  The results of the trend of the diseases in the communities were analysed and also mapped using GIS overlay procedures. From the maps and graphs, it was observed that there was an increase in the trend of arsenic related diseases and is increasing at an alarming rate annually. Maps produced showed that communities closer to the major health facilities have their sources of water from water bodies which have higher arsenic concentrations. These give indications of the intensity of water pollution and the effects on human health indicating that mining in the Obuasi gold belt has partly affected water patterns of both ground and surface water sources. It is recommended that much research should be conducted to determine areas suitable for boreholes before sinking boreholes in the communities.


Keywords: Arsenic, Gold Mining, Obuasi, Ghana, Maps, Contamination


Arsenic; Gold Mining; Obuasi; Ghana; Maps; Contamination

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