Assessment of the impacts of Kirasa washing bay on the vegetation around Kirasa wetland in Masindi Municipality
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Car wash is a common municipal service and consumes large amounts of water which is discharged untreated. There is an increase in the negative impacts of car washing bays on the environment in Uganda. This is due to mushrooming, illegal car washing bays located along wetlands. This is likely to affect the environment due to loss of biodiversity, water pollution, soil pollution, decreased wetland coverage and increased soil erosion resulting into infilling of wetlands. Therefore, this study was aimed at documenting the impacts of Kirasa washing bay on the vegetation around Kirasa wetland in Masindi municipality. The specific objectives were determining the number of cars, motorcycles washed, activities done at Kirasa washing bay and evaluating on their impacts on the vegetation around Kirasa wetland in Masindi municipality. A questionnaire and interviews were used to collect information about the number of cars, motorcycles washed, activities done and impacts of Kirasa washing bay around Kirasa wetland in Masindi municipality. The research results mainly indicated that, ten percent of the respondents were aged between 11 to 17, seventy percent were between 18-35 and twenty percent were aged 35 and above, thirty percent of the respondents had attended primary level, twenty percent had attended secondary, ten percent had attended tertiary and forty percent of the respondents had not attended any level of education. Ninety percent of the respondents were males and ten percent of the respondents were females. Ninety percent of the respondents were occupied in car and motorcycle washing while ten percent of the respondents were occupied in tree growing. Car washing was the main activity carried out at Kirasa washing bay with forty percent, tree growing ten percent, settlements thirty percent and papyrus harvesting twenty percent. Forty percent accepted Kirasa washing bay has great negative impacts on the vegetation, ninety percent of the respondent’s perceived activities carried-out at Kirasa washing bay affect the vegetation while ten percent of the respondents never accepted that activities done impact the vegetation cover. Given the results from the study, a key recommendation is that relevant authorities like Masindi District Natural Resource Office, NGOs, NEMA, ought to harmonize with the management of Kirasa washing bay, come up with appropriate regulations, policies, dialogue aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of Kirasa washing bay on the vegetation around Kirasa wetland as well as ensuring Kirasa washing bay is eco-friendly.