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Environmental Degradation in Developing Societies

Updated on November 13, 2019
Henry Angel Kagoda profile image

Henry is talented writer. He writes most of his stories with real life examples.

Environmental Degradation in Developing Societies

There is an on going climate change along the Equator due to environmental degradation. The rains are heavier than expected and the sun is hotter than usual. This has been because of environmental degradation going on in developing countries. Many swamps are being reclaimed, trees are being cut down and other practices that harm nature. An assessment by the National Forest Association shows that 1.33 million hectares of forest cover has been lost in Uganda from 1995 to 2015. From 2000 to 2015, the annual deforestation rate was 1.8%(in Uganda). (Uganda is a country along the Equator). From 2005 to 2010, the forest cover lost was 1.28 million hectares in Uganda. Environmental degradation is the improvement of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the creation of ecosystems; habitat ; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution. For development to take place nature is disturbed.The environment is destroyed as people try to urbanize there areas. The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction defines environmental degradation as "the reduction of the capacity of the environment to meet social and ecological objectives, and needs". Environmental degradation comes in many types. When natural habitats are destroyed or natural resources are depleted, the environment is degraded. Efforts to counteract this problem include environmental protection and environmental resources management. In November 2018 Rivers Mayanja and Lwajjali flooded due to the increased degradation of wetlands in Uganda. Uganda has also been receiving heavy rains that even destroyed farmers crops. Most of the farmers rely on rainfall to irrigate their crops because they can not afford to pump water for irrigation due to poor technology in developing countries. The MAM (March, April, May rainfall season) is one of the major cropping seasons in Uganda. This year many farmers were in losses as their crops got destroyed due to floods. Paul a farmer in Luweero said ''I planted beans at the start of March but the seeds got rotten in the soil due to the heavy rains''. The rains came earlier and they were heavier than expected.

Deforestation is carried out and a lot of forest cover is lost. Trees are cut down for wood fuel.Firewood is the main source of energy for cooking in rural areas and charcoal in urban areas. Charcoal is made by the heating of wood or other organic materials in the absence of oxygen. Many trees are being cut down in developing countries since most people can not afford other cooking methods. For instance Sarah a mother of seven says "I use firewood to cook because I can not afford electricity or gas". Sarah can not also afford to buy charcoal. She goes ahead to say "We count ourselves lucky to have a meal a day because some days we go without any food" Due to the increase in demand for firewood and charcoal many forests are cut down in developing countries. Many rural areas are experiencing urbanization and this has increased the demand for charcoal. This has led to climate change in the tropics. Swamps are being drained for construction and this has triggered floods in many areas. People have started constructing buildings in swamps that have been drained. This has led to floods in many areas along the Tropics. People live in absolute poverty in most countries in the Tropics. The Tropics are often known as a "poverty belt''. Poor farming methods are carried out by most farmers in developing areas. Some of these methods are harmful to the environment. For instance bush burning, clear cutting, deforestation and overgrazing of live stock. There is also a problem of non-biodegradable trash like plastics being disposed wrongly. Non-biodegradable trash is littered all over as people throw plastic bottles anywhere. Some plastics are even littered in farming land. Stone quarrying is also carried out and it leads to soil erosion. Many people are employed in stone quarries for example those who break the stones and also others who load the trucks. Most work is done manually in the stone quarries in developing countries hence employing many youth. Many youth earn a living by mining stones in the quarry. However this economic activity destroys the environment. The climate change in developing countries has been due to man's activities. These human activities have also led to land degradation. Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land. The on going urban sprawl and commercialization in developing countries has led to land degradation. Due to the urbanization many wetlands are reclaimed and this has affected the environment. Trees are cut down to get material for making charcoal that is used to cook in urban areas in developing countries. This has led to loss of vegetation hence climate change.


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