Effects of industrial effluents on water quality and local people adjacent to Kirinya wetland, Jinja district
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Kirinya wetland faces severe degradation. This is majorly resulting from human activities carried out like the discharge of untreated effluents by the surrounding fish industry. Wetlands are most valuable natural resource to all forms of life, plants, animals, and animals on earth. They provide animal fodder, construction materials, sustain biodiversity and particularly source of clean water used for many humans in for instance, agriculture and manufacturing. Wetlands are currently degraded by both natural and human activities which deteriorate their quality and push them to brink of extinction in the process of unplanned development giving rise to the need of sustainable conservation strategies. A total of 12 water samples were collected from four sites (3 samples per site) and assessed for four physico-chemical water quality parameters which included potential of hydrogen (pH), total suspended solids (TSS), total dissolved solids (TDS) and electrical conductivity (EC). Site 1 was an effluent sample before being released into the wetland, site 2 was the fresh water in the upstream the point of release of industrial effluent, site 3 was for water sample on the discharge point of industrial effluent and site 4 was for the water sample downstream the discharge point of the effluent. A total number of 90 respondents were randomly sampled. Questionnaires developed in Kobo tool were used to gather data. The data were analysed using SPSS and Microsoft Excel. The data were presented in tables and graphs. The study found out that the overall physico-chemical parameters of water in Kirinya wetland was found to be; pH=7.3250, TSS=8.9583mg/L, TDS=169mg/L and EC=417.7500μS/cm, see table 1 Highest pH was observed at site 2 (pH=8.0333) and lowest pH was observed at site 4 (pH=6.700). It was found that the means for all parameters greatly varied and the variations were statistically significant (p-value < 0.001) hence the hypothesis that there is no effect of industrial effluent on the physico-chemical parameters of water in Kirinya wetland was rejected. There was a high degree of human activities carried out. Flooding, drought, soil erosion change and increased population were the major changes observed at Kirinya wetland. Agriculture was the major human change observed in Kirinya wetland. Construction, brick making, sand mining, farming, over extraction of resources, fires and waste dumping were identified as the major causes of Kirinya wetland degradation. The study recommended that the district environmental committee should implement the wetland policy and enforce the law that governs wetland resources to ensure that Kirinya wetland is protected.