Chapter One 


1.1 Scarcity of trees

This is caused by:

  1. Selling of firewood and making of charcoal;
  2. Opening of new gardens, especially tobacco estates;
  3. Burning bricks;
  4. Increasing human population in relation to available land;
  5. High electricity tariffs;
  6. Lack of incentives to plant and tend trees;
  7. Woodcraft (wood carving);
  8. Inadequate forest patrolmen and extension workers;
  9. Diminished powers for traditional leaders over customary forests;
  10. Insufficient forestry extension services;
  11. Bush fires;
  12. Digging up and debarking plants for medicinal use; and
  13. Non-compliance with forestry protection norms.

1.2 Depletion of water

Water is becoming scarce because of:

  1. Cutting down trees in water catchment areas and along river banks;
  2. Uncontrolled burning of bushes;
  3. Cultivation on steep slopes and river banks;
  4. Planting wrong species of trees along river banks, for example, bluegum.
  5. Early drying-up of rivers;
  6. Sedimentation of rivers and lakes due to soil erosion; 
  7. Insufficient provision of boreholes and wells; and 
  8. Poor and unreliable rainfall.

1.3 Degradation of water

Water is degraded due to:

  1. Soil erosion;
  2. Uncontrolled disposal of waste into rivers from hospitals and industries;
  3. Bathing and washing clothes in rivers;
  4. Building pit latrines close to wells;
  5. Digging wells close to, and below graveyards; and
  6. Agrochemical run-off.

1.4 Soil erosion and declining soil fertility

The main causes of soil erosion and declining soil fertility are:

  1. not following modern methods of farming;
  2. farming in the same place continuously (mono-cropping);
  3. non-application of manure;
  4. applying inappropriate types of fertilisers;
  5. cultivating in river catchment areas and on steep slopes;
  6. moulding bricks close to river banks;
  7. lack of consultation between agriculture and road constructors in constructing mitre drains off the roads;
  8. wanton cutting down of trees;
  9. grazing animals in the same area; and
  10. uncontrolled burning of bushes.

1.5 Scarcity of wild fruits

This problem is caused by reckless and indiscriminate cutting down of indigenous fruit trees.

1.6 Scarcity of wild animals and birds

Scarcity of wild animals and birds is due to:

  1. destruction of habitat due to:
    • depletion of the forests;
    • uncontrolled bush fires; and
    • over population of human beings.
  2. excessive hunting of wildlife for food and trophies;

1.7 Depletion of fish

(A) Rivers

This has arisen from:

  1. catching fish using poison.
  2. damming rivers to kill the fish in enclosed water bodies;
  3. drying-up of rivers; and
  4. fishing at river estuaries where fish breed.
(B) Lakes

The decreasing fish resources emanate from:

  1. increase number of fishermen;
  2. non- compliance with proper fishing regulations;
  3. destruction of breeding areas; and
  4. over-fishing due to improved fishing methods.

1.8 Scarcity of medicinal plants

This is as a result of:

  1. depletion of natural forests; and
  2. digging up and excessive debarking of trees of medicinal values.

1.9 Flooding

Flooding is caused by high run-off which is a result of:

  1. cutting down of trees at river sources and along river banks; and
  2. cultivating on hills and steep slopes.

1.10 Dwindling of cultivable land

This is due to:

  1. over-population;
  2. proliferation of tobacco estates;
  3. extensive stony and sandy soils; and
  4. big national parks and wildlife reserves.

1.11 Scarcity of thatch grass

The increasing scarcity of thatching grass is caused by:

  1. decreasing areas left for grass to grow;
  2. uncontrolled bush fires; and
  3. uncontrolled grazing of livestock.

1.12 Decreasing grazing land

This is due to:

  1. increasing livestock population in relation to the grazing areas; and
  2. increase in number of gardens and estates.

1.13 Improper discharge of sewage

This is caused by:

  1. letting sewage drift into rivers and other inappropriate areas;
  2. bursting of pipes; and
  3. lack of proper handling, transportation and disposal of sewage.

1.14 Some development result in environmental degradation

This happens when people:

  1. burn bricks.
  2. saw timber and engage in carpentry works;
  3. make charcoal;
  4. open new gardens and farms anyhow;
  5. crush stones for building;
  6. make woodcraft; and
  7. open up new roads.

1.15 Drought (poor rains)

This is basically accentuated by deforestation and climatic change. 



Contents | Acknowledgments | Preamble
Chapters:  |One | Two | Three | Four | Five