Nutrient load along the Lubigi stream in the Lubigi-Nsooba wetland
Kasule, Jonathan Kalule
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A wetland is an area of marsh, fen, peat land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, dominated by anaerobic processes with static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt water including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres. Wetlands are some of the most productive habitats providing homes to high concentrations of mammals, birds, fish and invertebrate. The destruction in Uganda is due to economic reforms, which have led to increased urbanization, and rapid population growth. This destruction leads to the clearing of the wetland vegetation and hence influencing the functionality of the wetland. Lubigi wetland is one of the most highly degraded and encroached on in Uganda due to high rate of human settlements, urbanisation and development of infrastructure like roads. Such degradation often results into high nutrient load and deterioration of water quality. The objective of this study was to determine the nutrient load along the Lubigi stream in the Lubigi Nsooba wetland and this was aided by investigating the key anthropogenic stressors on the physio-chemical water parameters along the Lubigi stream that could due to the clearing and degradation of the wetland vegetation. The quality of the Lubigi stream was assessed by collecting 15 water samples from 5 sites (between 8am to 11pm) along the stream during February 2019 and taken to the laboratory. Total Nitrogen, phosphorus, Dissolved oxygen and BOD where measured. The presence of Lubigi WWTP increases the Nutrient load in the wetland and the role played by the pristine wetlands in cleaning and removal of the high amounts of nutrients from the water is also evident in this study.