Rivers Wouri and Meme feed the Wouri and Rio del Rey mangroves of Cameroon, respectively. This study examined the physicochemical properties of soils that were collected around the vicinity of these rivers. This was to ascertain the former’s role in controlling the movement of chemical entities into these rivers and nutrient quality. Twenty-one surface soil samples were collected (0-20 cm depth) within the vicinity of both rivers and analyzed for their physicochemical properties using standard methods. All the soils were slightly acidic, probably dominated by kaolinitic clay minerals and sesquioxides. The mean ECEC (4.31 cmol/kg) of soils around River Wouri was higher than that (2.94 cmol/kg) of soils around River Meme. The average clay content of 11% in soils around River Meme was more than that (4%) in soils around River Wouri, suggesting that the higher ECEC of soils from Wouri could be contributed by organic matter and soil moisture content. The latter had a significant positive correlation (r = 0.82, p<0.05) with organic matter and clay, respectively, in soils from Wouri. There was also a significant difference (p< 0.01) in Mg (with higher levels in D soils) and in Na (with higher levels in M soils). There was yet other significant differences (p< 0.05) in sand (with higher values in M soils) and in clay (with higher contents in M soils). This again could be an indication that the mineralogical content of the soils could be different. The soils around both rivers have low major nutrients though more depleted around River Wouri and are vulnerable to increases in anthropogenic activities, such as farming practices, industrial and municipal waste disposal. A more stringent legislation about environmental management, as well as studies about the mineralogical composition of soils is recommended.
Key words: Soil, physicochemical properties, clays, rivers, Wouri, Meme.
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