Contamination from Organochlorine Pesticides (OCPs) and other Pesticides in Agricultural Soils of Buuri, Imenti South and Imenti North Sub counties, Meru County Agroecosystem in Kenya


  • Marete M. G. The Technical University of Kenya
  • Lalah J. O. The Technical University of Kenya
  • Mputhia J. The Technical University of Kenya
  • Wekesa V. W. The Technical University of Kenya


The presence and distribution of organochlorine (OCPs) and the residues of other pesticides in Buuri, Imenti South and Imenti North Sub Counties, Meru County agroecosystem in Kenya was examined in the current research. Pesticide residue analysis was done with gas chromatograph mass spectroscopy. Twenty soil samples sampled randomly from each sub county were collected for the multi residue and Quecher's method analysis of OCP sand other pesticides such as organophospahates, carbamates, fungicides, pyrethroids and neonicotinoids respectively. Seventeen OCP residues with notable concentrations were observed from the study area. Alpha-HCH, beta-HCH, gamma-HCH, delta-HCH, heptachlor, aldrin, heptachlor epoxide, endosulfan I, dieldrin, p,p'-DDT, endosulfan II, p,p'-DDD, Endrin aldehyde, p,p'-DDE, endosulfan sulfate, heptachlor epoxide and methoxychlor were obtained at concentrations ranging from BDL-85.83±1.98, with methoxychlor giving the highest mean concentration. Endrin was not detected. Other pesticides detected included carbendazin (conc range) metalaxyl (range conc) and chlorpyrifos (range of conc). All organochlorine pesticides detected from the three sub counties in Meru County are in the list of priority pollutants of US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Results indicate that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other pesticides exist in agricultural soils in Meru and recent illegal use in sampled area for some of the OCPs should and be monitored and regulated. Increased soil monitoring is recommended to detect persistency and changes in target environment. Some of these OCPs and other pesticides had been reported to be in use by farmers in the three sub-counties, although presence of other OCPs which have been banned could be due to environmental cycling and persistence.

Key Words: Organochlorine, Pesticides, Contamination, Agricultural soils, Agroecosystem

Author Biographies

Marete M. G., The Technical University of Kenya

PhD Candidate

Lalah J. O., The Technical University of Kenya

Department of Geoscience and the Environment

Mputhia J., The Technical University of Kenya

Department of Chemical Science and Technology

Wekesa V. W., The Technical University of Kenya

Department of Technical and Applied Biology


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How to Cite

G., M. M., O., L. J., J., M., & W., W. V. (2019). Contamination from Organochlorine Pesticides (OCPs) and other Pesticides in Agricultural Soils of Buuri, Imenti South and Imenti North Sub counties, Meru County Agroecosystem in Kenya. Journal of Agriculture, 3(1), 1–20. Retrieved from