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The Value of the Freshwater Snail Dip Scoop Sampling Method in Macroinvertebrates Bioassessment of Sugar Mill Wastewater Pollution in Mbandjock, Cameroon

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph5020068

Keywords: bioassessment, snail dip scoop method, macroinvertebrates, sugar mill pollution, surface water quality, Cameroon

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Abstract:

Macroinvertebrates identification and enumeration may be used as a simple and affordable alternative to chemical analysis in water pollution monitoring. However, the ecological responses of various taxa to pollution are poorly known in resources-limited tropical countries. While freshwater macroinvertebrates have been used in the assessment of water quality in Europe and the Americas, investigations in Africa have mainly focused on snail hosts of human parasites. There is a need for sampling methods that can be used to assess both snails and other macroinvertebrates. The present study was designed to evaluate the usefulness of the freshwater snail dip scoop method in the study of macroinvertebrates for the assessment of the SOSUCAM sugar mill effluents pollution. Standard snail dip scoop samples were collected upstream and downstream of the factory effluent inputs, on the Mokona and Mengoala rivers. The analysis of the macroinvertebrate communities revealed the absence of Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera, and the thriving of Syrphidae in the sections of the rivers under high effluent load. The Shannon and Weaver diversity index was lower in these areas. The dip scoop sampling protocol was found to be a useful method for macroinvertebrates collection. Hence, this method is recommended as a simple, cost-effective and efficient tool for the bio-assessment of freshwater pollution in developing countries with limited research resources.

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