Wetland Degradation in Ethiopia: Causes, Consequences and Remedies

Hagos Gebresllassie


Ethiopia owns more than 58 different types of wetlands which provide enormous socio-economic and environmental values. Despite all those and other indispensable values, these wetlands are under severe pressure and degradation. Due to improper extraction of uses and misconceptions forwarded to wetlands, the health of the wetlands is continuously decreasing from time to time that in doubt their existence in the near future. Traditional and modern agricultural expansions, continuous land degradations, urbanizations and industrializations, lack of policies and institutional arrangements, lack of capacities, natural and ecological problems are the most dominant challenging factors of wetlands in the country. Malnutrition of children, extra loads on women and poor, absence of medicinal plants (healers), lack of water and forage, health problems and lack of recreational areas are the dominant consequences seen in parts of Ethiopia where wetlands get lost. As Ethiopia is prone to desertification and recurrent drought, the effects of wetland loss could be more visible in complicating the situation locally. In order to reverse these emerging problems and conserve these fragile but crucial wetlands, integrated problem solving approach through realizing the collaboration of relevant stakeholders from policy level down to grassroots community is indispensible opportunity to Ethiopian wetlands.

Key words:   Wetland, Challenge, Opportunity

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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