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Community perceptions towards the implications of human activity on River Rwizi, Uganda sustainability

Author Affiliations

  • 1Bishop Stuart University, Main Campus, P.O. Box 09, Mbarara, Uganda, East Africa
  • 2Bishop Stuart University, Main Campus, P.O. Box 09, Mbarara, Uganda, East Africa
  • 3Bishop Stuart University, Main Campus, P.O. Box 09, Mbarara, Uganda, East Africa
  • 4Bishop Stuart University, Main Campus, P.O. Box 09, Mbarara, Uganda, East Africa

Int. Res. J. Earth Sci., Volume 6, Issue (7), Pages 1-8, July,25 (2018)

Abstract

This study was undertaken in the cells of Kiswahiri, Buremba and Nyakaizi in Kakoba Division of Mbarara District; in Uganda. The research was done as a baseline study for investigating the possibility of implementing a project for conservation of river Rwizi as a way to restore its natural stability since it is highly depreciating due to degradation hence it is the major source of water in the Mbarara dry corridor of nomadic pastoralists and other cattle keepers. In order to establish the extent of river degradation; a survey on the effects of community activities and peoples' beliefs towards river depreciation was done. The study investigated on perceptions of the community towards river Rwizi degradation in a way to establish the possibility of involving the people into river conservation; in order to reactivate the river from drying, silting and other degradation indicators. This emerging crisis of the river drying up has affected natural; social and economic activities negatively especially in the areas of the river catchment; hence the need for river conservation to save nature in the river catchment; and in other water sources in which Rwizi drains; that connect into world waters such as river Nile and lake Victoria. People appreciate the river since it is a source of water for irrigation and domestic use. The river as well leads to rainfall formation; through evaporation, in addition to provision of water for animals. The anthropological factors have led to continuous reduction in volume and speed of Rwizi profile. The natural vegetation at river banks is getting continuously replaced by agricultural plants and bare lands. The growing of crops next to river banks involve tilling of land and softening soil; making it bare and prone to erosion; parts of agricultural land get deposited into the stream leading to widening of river channel and siltation of the river. Continuous deforestation have left the stream open to evaporation and continuous drying. The major land use activities that have degraded and deteriorated river Rwizi include cultivation, industrialisation and settlements, cattle rearing, sand mining, brick lying, deforestation, urbanization and waste disposal. There is great need for adjusting policy procedures for conservation of the river towards integrating well the current conservation needs and population demands.

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