Emerging Concern and Current Knowledge of Microplastic in Ethiopia


Shimelis Kebede
Chemical and Environmental Engineering, School of Chemical and Bio Engineering, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, Addis Ababa University


Almost all African countries, including Ethiopia, which has the largest lake and river, have yet to conduct microplastics pollution research on their water systems. The first baseline study on microplastics pollution assessments in Ethiopia was published in 2020. Small microplastic particles have been reported in the Ethiopian freshwater system, such as Lake Ziway and Hawassa Lake, confirming that the pollution level is high due to anthropogenic sources. The abundance of microplastics for lack Ziway was found to be in the range of 0.0002-385.2 mg/kg ww (35%) in fish and (400-124,000) particles/m3 in sediments. Similarly, the abundance of MPs was in the 11-74 item/m3 range near the Hawassa lake catchment area. Another study on the abundance and characterization of microplastics in major urban ditches across the Ethiopian city of Bahir Dar found that microplastics occurrence of > 0.5 mm fractions were 2.33 0.58 items/50 g in sediment and 1.33 0.58 items/50 ml in agglomerated sewage water. Only three studies on emerging microplastic pollutants have been published between 2020 and 2022. As a result, current knowledge on microplastic pollutants is very limited, and there are some associated challenges such as less government attention, a lack of comprehensive data, a lack of enforcement law, limited research, and inadequate research facilities.

November 3, 2022