Water Source Conservation and Protection

Catchment degradation in the basin is largely due to human activities, which are on the increase. These include: (i) deforestation due to the cutting of trees for timber, fuel wood, building materials and agriculture; (ii) poor farming practices, mainly on steep slopes, close to riverbanks, and valley-bottom cultivation; (iii) bushfires which are set for various purposes; plus poachers and honey hunters, (iv) increase land settlement and urban centers and (v) overstocking grazing lands, having excessively large herds and uncontrolled movement. The fundamental problems associated with catchment degradation in the basin are soil erosion and accelerated run-off which augments sediment transport and silt accumulation in the rivers as well as in dams.

Presently considered interventions include: (i) reforestation which will be determined following a study to identify the most acutely affected areas and the appropriate type of trees to be planted, and (ii) encouraging improved land use practices in collaboration with the Departments of forestry, agriculture and land from LGAs. Controls over land use to restrict encroachment on important water catchments and groundwater recharge areas are under the way. Catchment pollution is addressed through awareness programs, training, and improved enforcement of the existing legislations. In cooperation with all related Ministries and local governments, all areas which need legal protection (both surface and groundwater) will be identified, demarcated and gazetted as protected areas. In this context, the PBWO is essentially try to coordinate all initiatives taken by other sectors related to water resources management.