Assessing the Ecology of Wetlands in Kumasi and the Adaptations of the Communities to Floods

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In an attempt to maintain wetland sustainability, it is important to manage anthropogenic activities on wetlands. Due to the ever increasing population, wetlands are abused by society leading to degradation. This research aimed at studying the ecology of wetlands in Kumasi and the adaptations of the wetland associated communities to flooding. The wetland areas namely Aboabo, Ahinsan, Atonsu, Asokore Mampong, Bantama and Kwadasu Estates and the associated land uses were delineated and their physicochemical and heavy metal characteristics analyzed using the Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. With the aid of questionnaire, the adaptations to flooding by wetland communities were studied. Results showed an increased trend for urban development (70%) with non-forested vegetation and wetlands suffering the consequences. High variation existed among some physicochemical parameters (TDS, temperature, conductivity, dissolved oxygen and salinity). pH was neutral to alkaline. The study showed that land use activities that take place in wetlands in Kumasi and its environs have negative effect on the functioning of the wetlands. Most of the streams are being used as waste disposal sites causing the wetland areas to flood in the least rain. The communities adapt to flooding by dredging the streams, creating embankment at the shoulders of the stream and sweeping away the flood water and in extreme cases vacate their home only to return after the flood subsides. It has become difficult if not impossible for city authorities to enforce the statutory laws of urban development and thus demolish buildings that flout these laws.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Materials Engineering of the College of Engineering, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science, in Environmental Resources Management