Impact of land use activities on environmental degradation in Namutumba Subcounty, Mityana district
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Land use activities are those activities carried on land that can in turn lead to environmental degradation through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil, the destruction of ecosystems, habitat destruction, the extinction of wildlife and pollution. Land use activities are used to describe human activities that take place on land, or immediate actions modifying or converting land cover. It includes such broad categories as human settlements, protected areas and destruction of environment by clearing land for agriculture. However, deforestation is the major activity that has led to environmental degradation, for example the rate of deforestation has sky rocketed and Uganda's forests are disappearing (NLMA, 2012). This has ushered in a number of environmental problems such as devastating impacts of climate change, soil degradation, reduced biodiversity, degradation of watersheds, food insecurity due to exacerbated drought, loss of recreation and loss of biological diversity. The major purpose of the study was to examine the impact of land use activities on environmental degradation in Namutamba Sub-County in Mityana district. The specific objectives of the study were: to identify various land use activities that have caused environmental degradation, to find out farmers’ local environmental knowledge of land degradation indicators and to establish the effect of land use activities on environmental degradation. The study employed a descriptive research design to investigate various issues regarding the impact of land use activities on environmental degradation. The study also used qualitative and quantitative data. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS). Qualitative approach aimed at obtaining data expressed in lion-numerical terms. Results show cultivation and deforestation are the major contributing factors to environmental degradation in the Sub-county. The growing trends of population and the consequent demand for food, energy, and housing in the area have considerably altered land use practices, reduced both plantation and natural land covers and caused environmental degradation. The study concludes that deforestation is the major land use activity in Namutumba Sub-County which has caused environmental degradation in the area, land use activities have resulted into destroying soil surface by eating the vegetation and land degradation in Namutamba Sub-County was prevented by use of practices such as application of organic manure, planting of trees, crop rotation. 1 he study recommends that efforts should be made to educate residents in Namutamba Sub County Mityana district and their local leaders about the adverse effects of a large population on the environment through specially designed Information. Education and Communication activities.