Implication of urbanisation on wetlands in Fortportal city, Western Uganda
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Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems on the earth‘s surface. For instance, wetlands provide various services such as water replenishment, climate change mitigation and flood control. However, wetlands are continuously degraded due to urbanization. Despite this continuous degradation, little had been documented to ascertain the extent of this problem in Fort Portal city. This study was therefore intended to address this knowledge gap through assessing the implications of urbanization in Fort portal city, assessing community participation in wetland conservation and analyzing the changes in land cover in Fort portal city. This study was based on a cross sectional research design where qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data. Further, the study was also based on primary and secondary data. The study used various tools of data collection for example questionnaires, direct observation, key informant interviews and photography. The collected data was coded, processed and later entered into SPSS. This data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results were displayed in bar graphs, images, photos and tables. The study found out urbanization to have adverse implications on wetlands for instance; urbanization caused wetland degradation due to road construction (12.5%), degradation due to construction of settlements (22.5%), poor waste management and disposal (7.5%), degradation due to urban agriculture (7.5%), creation of impervious areas (7.5%), environmental pollution (7.5%), degradation due to aquaculture (7.5%) and wetland degradation resulting from exploitation of wetland goods (7.5%). The study also found out Fort portal to have gone through dramatic changes in the land cover. There was generally less participation of local communities in wetland conservation. These finding provided a starting point on how to sustainably develop Fort portal into a smart city without degrading the Wetlands.