The impact of housing on the state of wetlands (a case study of Kinawataka wetland in Kakawa Municipality)
Ojede, Linus Ivan
MetadataShow full item record
From colonial times until recently, wetlands have been usually regarded as nuisances, only fit to be drained, cleared, filled, inundated, degraded with toxins and nutrients, and exploited for whatever resources could be extracted from them ( Maltby, 1986). The nature of wetland benefits are such that the owners of wetlands usually cannot capture the benefits for their own use or sale. The flood protection benefits accrue to others downstream. The fish and wildlife that breed and inhabit the wetlands migrate, and are captured or enjoyed by others. The ground water recharge and sediment trapping benefits cannot be commercially exploited. For the owner of a wetland to benefit from his resource, he often has to alter it, convert it, and develop it. That is why, despite their value, wetlands are being eliminated. In their natural state, wetlands produce numerous benefits for society. Benefits which are either irreplaceable if lost or can only be replaced at immense expense. (Shanbhag et al 2008). Wetlands provide a vivid example of the dynamic, yet fragile interactions that create, maintain, and repair the world's ecological system. Unfortunately, the fate of many wetlands can also offer concrete evidence of the harmful consequences of human activities that are carried out without regard for, and often without knowledge of, the relationship of each part of the ecosystem to the whole. By and large construction is the major cause of urban environmental degradation not only from the construction process effects but also from the resulting human settlements activities. The study sought to investigate the impacts of property development on existing wetlands in Kinawataka area. From the findings it emerged property development was the single most destroyer of wetlands in the municipality through drainage, dredging deposition of fill material, construction, run-off, air and water pollution, changing nutrient levels and release of toxic chemicals. The study concluded and recommended that the future for these wetlands will really depend on how humans choose to use their wetlands and the measures they take to mitigate impacts that their activities have on these special environments.