Implications of wetlands degradation for water resources management: Lessons from Nigeria
Nigeria is a country richly endowed with both coastal and inland wetlands, which altogether cover about 3% of the country's land surface. These wetlands are of ecological, economic, socio-cultural, scientific and recreational significance. Nevertheless, Nigeria's wetland resources are currently being threatened by certain anthropogenic and biogeophysical factors. Notable among such factors are population pressure, rapid rate of urbanization, mining, oil and industrial waste pollution, uncontrolled tilling for crop production, over-grazing, logging, unprecedented land reclamation, construction of dams, transportation routes and other physical infrastructure, marine and coastal erosion, subsidence, ocean water intrusion, invasion by alien floral and faunal species, sand storm, desertification, and droughts. The alarming rate at which the country's wetlands are vanishing obviously portends some dire consequences. In particular, wetlands destruction is affecting water supply and water resources management in various parts of the country. Wetlands perform some vitally important hydrological functions in the country. For instance, apart from being quite instrumental to flood protection, wetlands equally maintain stream flow during the dry season in the semi-arid region of northern Nigeria. Importantly, they also help in regulating surface water quality and volume, as well as in replenishing and sustaining groundwater. There is no gainsaying, therefore, that the degradation of wetland ecosystems in Nigeria increases the task of water resources management in the country. Thus, the country's wetland resources need to be properly identified and mapped. Moreover, the right legislation and policy framework has to be put in place and enforced to safeguard the remaining wetlands from the ongoing wanton destruction.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Acharya, G.,1998:Hydrological-economic linkages in water resource management. Unpublished Ph.D.thesis, University of York.Google Scholar
- Hollis, G.E., Adams, W.M. and Aminu-Kano,M. (eds).1993:The Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands:Environment, Economy and Sustainable Development of a Sahelian FloodplainWetland, IUCN Gland.Google Scholar
- Oyebande, L., Obot, E.O. and Bdiliya, H.H., 2003:An inventory of wetlands in Nigeria.Report prepared for World Conservation Union-IUCN,West African Regional Office, Ouagadougou,Burkina Faso.Google Scholar
- Raufu, A., 2000: War on Nigeria 's wetlands, Nature Watch 10–11.Google Scholar
- Thompson, J.R. and Goes B.J.M., 1997:Inundation and Groundwater Recharge in the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, Northeast Nigeria:hydro-logical analysis. Wetland Research Unit, Department of Geography, University College London.Google Scholar
- Uluocha, N.O. and Ekop, G., 2002. Nigeria:Geography. In: Osuntokun, A. et al. (eds). History and Cultures of Nigeria Up to AD 2000, Lagos, Frankad Publishers, pp.3–20.Google Scholar
- URL 1:Strategic Framework and guidelines for the future development of the List of Wetlands of International Importance. http:// www.ramsar.org/key_guide_list_e.htm.Google Scholar
- URL 2:Thompson, J.R.and Polet,G. Hydrology and land use in a Sahelian floodplain wetland. http://www.sws.org/wetlands/ abstracts/volume20n4/THOMPSON.html.Google Scholar
- URL 3:Acharya, G. Capturing the hidden values of wetland ecosystems as a mechanism for nancing the wise use of wetlands. http://biodiversityeconomics.org/pdf/981113–03.pdf.Google Scholar
- URL 4:A Directory of wetlands of international importance.Google Scholar
- URL 5:The Ramsar convention definition of ''wetland ''and classication system for wetland type. http://www.wetlands.org/RDB/ Ramsar_Dir/Nigeria/NG001D02.htm.Google Scholar