The impact of rapid urban expansion on wetland ecosystems: a case study of Nabajjuzi Wetland Masaka Municipality, Masaka District

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Kampala International University; School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Urbanization in Masaka is one of the most critical environmental constraints and has become so rapid especially in the last 10 to 20 years. According to this study, urbanization refers to the increase in the number of people living or working in an area that changes it from the rural structure to town and modern structure, it becomes “rapid urbanization” when it is occurring at a faster rate than before and compared to other urban areas around the same region. The study focuses on the impact of rapid urban expansion on Nabajjuzi wetland in Masaka municipality through identifying the impacts of the urban expansion on the wetland in Masaka municipality, examining the activities that are carried out on ecosystem and the challenges faced in management and conservation strategies of Nabajjuzi wetland. The methods used for the data collection were, the use of questionnaires, interview guides, observation. The findings revealed that urban expansion had a detrimental impact to the wetland as it caused the wetland vegetation loss, extraction of the resources from the wetland water for domestic use and industries, clay for brick making and pots that resulted into the degradation of the ecosystem, disposal of wastes in the ecosystem resulting into water and land pollution. The activities that were carried out on the wetland are brick making, agriculture, constructions of houses, washing bays, bush burning. The study revealed the challenges faced in the proper management and conservation of wetland in the Masaka Municipality which include, corruption, poverty levels, generation of too much wastes in the town, unclear boundaries, land ownership in the wetland. The researcher conclude by appealing to all Masaka Municipal officials, stakeholders and urban developers to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) while conducting their anthropogenic activities adjacent to the wetland ecosystem so that it can be saved from being degraded and continue to perform its natural functions.
A dissertation submitted to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in partial fulfillment for the Award of Bachelors of Science Degree in Environmental Management of Kampala International University.
Rapid urban expansion, Wetland ecosystems, Nabajjuzi Wetland, Masaka District, Uganda