Sustainable Management Of Natural Wetlands In Urban Areas
The concern that human settlements can have direct and indirect impacts on the environment, and that wetlands are particular susceptible to negative change, has long been proven. It is for this reason that this study was conducted to establish the anthropogenic causes leading to degradation of Dunga Swamp in the context of sustainable urban wetland management. Specifically, the study sought to: (1) review and map out the degradation of Dunga Swamp in the urban context, (2) establish the causes of the degradation of Dunga Swamp with a view to bring out their management implications and (3) develop a framework for sustainable management of urban wetlands. The study was based on a combination of research instruments, chief among them being Remote Sensing and GIS. Other research instruments included field observations and interviews. Key informants selected on predetermined criteria were interviewed. From the study it was established that, Dunga Swamp had reduced by 64.8% from 1990 to 2011 and that the remaining percentage is heavily fragmented. Major causes of this degradation were found out to be construction on the wetland, burning of the swamp, excessive unsustainable harvesting of papyrus reeds and poor management of swamp. From the findings a sustainable management framework was formulated. The study concluded that natural wetlands are valuable assets in our nation which requires an understanding of the dynamics of human and environmental parameters at play to manage them effectively and efficiently. In light of this, the hypothesis that poor management of human settlements in urban areas leads to degradation of wetlands was accepted.
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