Pollution of River Mahaweli and farmlands under irrigation by cadmium from agricultural inputs leading to a chronic renal failure epidemic among farmers in NCP, Sri Lanka

Chronic renal failure associated with elevated dietary cadmium among farming communities in the irrigated agricultural area under the River Mahaweli diversion scheme has reached a significantly higher level of 9,000 patients

J. M. R. S. Bandara; H. V. P. Wijewardena; Y. M. A. Y. Bandara; R. G. P. T. Jayasooriya; H. Rajapaksha

2010

Scholarcy highlights

  • Chronic renal failure associated with elevated dietary cadmium among farming communities in the irrigated agricultural area under the River Mahaweli diversion scheme has reached a significantly higher level of 9,000 patients
  • Cadmium, derived from contaminated phosphate fertilizer, in irrigation water finds its way into reservoirs, and to food, causing chronic renal failure among consumers
  • Eppawala rock phosphate, which is mostly used in tea estates, caused least pollution
  • Kendall’s τ rank correlation value of total Cd loading from the catchment by phosphate fertilizer used in all crops in the catchment to the Cd content in the tributaries was +0.48. This indicated a major contribution by the cropping system in the upper catchment area of River Mahaweli to the eventual Cd pollution of river water
  • In view of the existing water conveyance system from upcountry to reservoirs in North Central Province through diversion of River Mahaweli, in addition to their own nonpoint pollution by triple superphosphate fertilizer, this demands a change in overall upper catchment management to minimize Cd pollution through agriculture inputs to prevent CRF due to elevated dietary cadmium among NCP farmers
  • In view of the existing water conveyance system from upcountry to reservoirs in North Central Province through diversion of River Mahaweli, in addition to their own nonpoint pollution by triple superphosphate fertilizer, this demands a change in overall upper catchment management to minimize Cd pollution through agriculture inputs to prevent Chronic renal failure due to elevated dietary cadmium among NCP farmers

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