Main Article Content


Background: Worldwide, agriculture has become dependent on the use of pesticides to boost production and meet the demand for farm products. However, pesticide use has raised concerns about their potential harm to both ecological and human health. Prompted by this concern, a systematic literature review was conducted to assess the magnitude of pesticide residue pollution of groundwater sources, coupled with health risk assessment, in Africa.

Methods: A thorough search using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) format across multiple databases, including Science Direct, PubMed, and Google Scholar was used. Studies collected current data on groundwater pesticide residue contamination and human health risks between 2018 and September 2022.

Results: Four articles distributed at four study sites in three countries were identified. Pesticide residues were distributed as 53.2% organochlorines, 21.3% organophosphates, 17.0% pyrethroids, 4.3% carbamates, and 4.3% triazines from agricultural farms. Banned organochlorines pose both carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks to humans, thus indicating a public health concern. Research gaps were observed in investigating herbicides and fungicides and the absence of pesticide limits in national water quality guidelines.

Conclusion: The study concluded that banned organochlorine residues deteriorate groundwater quality and pose human health risks via ingestion. Therefore, there is a need for future research efforts to continue monitoring while prioritizing evaluating a wide range of pesticide residues and developing national standards for context-specific thresholds. Ultimately, sustainable agriculture is promoted, and sustainable development goals are met.


Pesticide residues ground drinking water health risks public health Africa toxicology

Article Details

Author Biographies

Siphiwe Makamure, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

Siphiwe Makamure is an esteemed academic and researcher in the field of environmental health working as a lecturer at Solusi University. She developed an early interest in the natural world and the intricate relationship between humans and their environment. This curiosity led her to pursue a bachelor's degree in environmental health and zoology, and she later pursued an MPhil in environmental health. The quest for knowledge further made her enroll as a Ph.D. student with interests in toxicology and pesticide contamination of environmental matrices. Furthermore, she actively participates in outreach programs, raising awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable lifestyles.

Lutendo Sylvia Mudau , Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

Lutendo Sylvia Mudau is an associate professor at Tshwane University of Technology with a desire to contribute to the field of environmental health. This desire drove her to climb heights in her academic journey by obtaining a D. Tech in Environmental Health after completing a Master of Public Health. Throughout her career, Dr. Mudau has published numerous research papers in reputable scientific journals, sharing her insights and contributing to the body of knowledge in the field of environmental health. Her special skills are anchored in environmental health and pollution, and communicable disease. Furthermore, she is a dedicated educator and mentor.

Thabiso J. Morodi, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

Thabiso John Morodi is a lecturer and Head of Department of Environmental Health at Tshwane University of Technology. Driven by his passion for knowledge and a desire to advance his field, he continued his academic journey and successfully completed a PhD in Environmental Ethics. Beyond teaching and research endeavors, he has actively participated in academic conferences and symposiums, where he has presented his work and engaged in stimulating discussions with fellow scholars. His contributions to the academic community extend beyond his own published and ongoing research, as he has also served as a reviewer for esteemed journals and conferences, lending his expertise to ensure the quality and rigor of academic publications.

Matodzi Michael Mokoena, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

Matodzi Michael Mokoena is employed as a laboratory technician in Biochemistry Lab at Tshwane University of Technology in the Department of Environmental Health. He holds aTech Environmental Health degree above the the Master’s degree in Microbiology. Mokoena's unwavering dedication to the field of environmental environmental health, his extensive research contributions, and his commitment to making a positive impact on the environment have solidified his position as a respected academic and researcher. His work continues to inspire and motivate others to strive for a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.

How to Cite
Makamure, S., Mudau, L., Morodi, T. J., & Mokoena, M. M. (2023). A Systematic Review on Pesticide Residue Contamination of Groundwater Coupled with Human Health Risk Assessment in Africa. Pan-African Journal of Health and Environmental Science, 2(2), 70–93. Retrieved from


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