Assessment of the effects of wetland degradation on people’s livelihood: a case study of Orusindura wetland in Kitagata subcounty, Sheema district
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Wetland degradation is a severe environmental problem in the world despite values they provide. Wetlands provide goods and services to people for their livelihoods. These include; food, medicine, sand, clay, fuel wood, flood and climate regulation and water purification. This study investigated the effects of wetland degradation on people’s livelihoods in Kitagata Sub-County Sheema district. The objectives of this study were to identify the benefits of Orusindura wetland to the adjacent local communities, assess the causes of Orusindura wetland degradation and identify the strategies for conservation of Orusindura wetland. The study employed qualitative methods for data collection, simple random sampling was used to draw a sample from households living in and around the wetland. Questionnaires (both open ended and close ended questions), and review of relevant literature were used to gather data. Quantitative data were analyzed with aid of statistical package for social scientists (SPSS). Simple descriptive statistics such as percentages and frequencies were used to determine correlation of data variables. Results showed that water, fish, sand, medicine, clay, fuel wood, papyrus, fruits, grass, and agriculture were the major benefits of Orusindura wetland to the adjacent community with water and fish taking the lead with (12%) and (10%) respectively. Construction, brick making, sand mining, farming, over extraction of resources, fires and waste dumping were identified as the major causes of Orusindura wetland degradation with brick making (18%) and construction (16%) taking the lead. The study recommended that the district environmental committee should implement the wetland policy and enforce the law that governs wetland resources to ensure that Orusindura wetland is protected from further degradation, it also recommended that community sensitization on the need to protect and conserve wetland and arrangements to evict people from the wetland should be made as early as possible.