The Institute for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine (IASU) of the University Hospital Aachen is investigating the contamination of water and soil with chemical substances in the INTEWAR project. In the areas under investigation, contaminated sites and sites from which hazardous substances can escape into the environment are being documented and a cadastre is being compiled.
Drinking water samples and soil samples from the immediate vicinity of selected drinking water sources are analysed by ICP-MS (8900-QQQ, Agilent, Waldbronn, Germany) / GC-MS (5977B GC/MSD, Agilent, Waldbronn, Germany) within the framework of target/non-target analyses. The analyses take place in Germany, but are also carried out in parallel in Cameroon at the Institute Pasteur in accordance with national guidelines.
Initial results of water sampling in Soa show no major anomalies. However, elevated levels of lead and nickel have been detected in isolated cases, which may be due to installed plumbing materials. Further sampling will determine the extent of the problem and recommendations for action will be made to those responsible.
Some of the soil samples from the Soa project area are heavily contaminated with chromium. Elevated concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons were also found at two sites. At these sampling points, it is important to ensure that there is no short-circuit between the soil and the drinking water source in the event of flooding.
In the further course of the project, drinking water and soil analyses will be carried out at the project sites in Douala and Yaoundé and recommendations for the protection of drinking water will be made based on these results.