“Unless we take possible measures to conserve the environment we live in, we will be poisoned by the food we eat, choked by the air we breathe, surrounded by the rivers and oceans, which have become sewers.” Miller (1972:261)
Human activity is what man performs on the face of earth for benefits. It can be farming activities where he clears natural vegetation to get as apace to grow his crops .It can also be mining in search for minerals and precious stones in below the earth crust with the aim and intentions to get gold, oils or coal to benefit him economically.
“Planet earth is warming faster than at any other time in the past a 1000 years and there is little doubt that human activity is to blame”.
Sergey M.G. explained in his eBook. Natural Process and Human Impacts: interaction between humanity and the environments.
Degeneration according to concise Oxford English Dictionary (2011) Twelfth edition is the stage or process of being or becoming degenerate, decline or deterioration .To degenerate something is having lost its normal and desirable shape. On the context of the environments human activities are devaluing or defacing the physical and desirable earth he ought to level in and enjoy all sorts of comforts he may wish to derive from it. Natural environment is supposed to appealing to the eye of man.
Extraction of mineral is usually primary human activity that is thought to more benefits than dangers. It leads to degeneration of environment when it reaches the secondary stage, where the raw materials are processed to produce goods for human consumption. Kutz M. says in his book, Handbook of Environmental Degradation of Materials (eBook 2003) in case studies that showed how organizations from small consulting firms to corporate giants design and manufacture products that are more resistant to environmental effects. These standard companies of all sizes should realize saving benefits from their operations.
The question of how and where to dispose industrial waste arises, gas emissions that destroy ozone layer and water pollution, crops in as a result of continuous degeneration of environment. The government, Non- Government organizations and civil society have set up strategies to conserve environment. The ultimate goal of these organizations is contribute significantly nurturing and greening up our society. Finding proper ways of disposing industrial waste is a problem.
Our water sources are continuously destroyed by Industrial waste from emerging industries, oil spills, Chemical toxic productions and waste disposals pose in tract environmental problems in a fast developing Africa. Beneficial human activities such as mining, industrialization, urbanization and farming are posing throat to health environment, human health and social economic well being in the world. Many people have now begun suffering from disease resulting from water and air pollution in like skin diseases and tuberculosis which can be contracts if one life in a dirt and not well ventilated environment.
Human activities as so far has lead to desertification and land degradation since 1970s according to world Bank report on the subject desertification .The threat to environment is as a result of the global economy which is expanding and local costumes are collapsing at an accelerated pace. (Brown 2000:4) Environmental degradation is basically the negative impacts of the quality of environment. It is good to find away to control it.It is so hard to control so long as industries are being set up every day for production of goods and services.
What World governments and non-governmental organization are doing is only but controlling deterioration of environment. We cannot do without industries. Implication is that we cannot restore the original purity natural environment before human activities took over. For instance the population in our cities today is disposing a volume waste on daily basis. It is hard to stop them to dispose this waste to the environment but it is good to find a better way to dispose waste.
Another contributor to environmental degeneration is raising level income in many societies in the world. Increase income means increase in purchasing power. If there is increases purchasing power and energy consumption, like purchasing cars, putting up industries, if used badly results to environmental degeneration.
In Kenya for example, there are three main sources of environmental degeneration namely, population explosion pressure to the scarce available land, licentious affluent consumption and unplanned industrialization. Population growth, Goldman (1970: 375) noted that high population growth is often inevitable urbanization leads to human cluster concentration in cities mean more people, more waste; organic and inorganic, discharged onto the land, in water and in air is too much for human and nature to recycle within a short time. The end results are environmental dreadful conditions.
Evidence of environmental degeneration
World suffers from environmental deterioration, mainly arises from exploding population density. This has increased the level of environmental degeneration. Vegetation cover is at risk of being cleared in search for human settlement, Cultivatable land and spaces to set up industries. The best example is recent massive oil and gas exploration In Africa .The Company exploring oil wants to clear about fifty thousand hectares of plantation to give space for drilling to take place. We are losing green beauty vegetation, which is air purifier get oil or gas that will add more impurities to our water and air and risk of our Ozone blanket degenerating.
Level of urbanization and industrialization is another evidence of environmental degeneration. Markandya and Munoz (1993:20) have pointed out that African countries environmental degradation may be among the worst in the world because of average rate of population growth fell between 2.5 and percent and 3.1 percent in a period of ten years .The world bank report (1994) showed that there is increasing urbanization going on in many countries and more manufacturing and tertiary industries are taking place in African. African is trying to catch up with the more advanced industrialized countries.
Air pollution as an aspect of environment degeneration is often associated with highly industrialized nations but has become significantly an increasing problem in less developed countries in the world. It is resulted from economic growth that has lead to increase in consumption of fossil fuels in industry and transport. Environmental degeneration by often nasty hoarse odors at refuse dump sites and spill out of sewerage and acrid smoke as it results from ever growing urbanization. Ngugi and Mbaria (1995:12) observed the degrading effect of chemical fertilizers and biocides set up in Kiambaa, central Kenya not only poisons the environments but also involves extremes exploitation of the low paid workers who out of sheerer need for survival, live and work with in this type environment are likely to suffer the detrimental health effects resulting from breathing polluted air around these areas.
It is importance to conserve environment from degenerating because it acts as our life savers. It acts as air purifiers and prefect our water catchment areas. It also adds moisture to the atmosphere which induce and attract rainfall .Forests in Africa have for long provided a variety of plant species some of which are of medicinal values .It is a source of cheaper fuel for many people and provides material for construction and furniture industries respectively.
Forest also acts as source of employment. One can be employed as a forest officer, timber harvester or self-employed herbalist or herbal companies, now hiring workers to pick medicinal plants to feed their industries. Trees provide beautiful scenery for recreational and tourist attraction. It is a source of pulp for making paper .Forest is a home wildlife which fetches million of dollars every year from visiting tourists.
Forests are faced by challenges which include prolonged drought due to effects of global warming that has led to the shrinking of forest around the world. Trees have been attached by pest and diseases. Many trees are lost daily to timber and charcoal harvesters. Human in search for settlement and farming space have felled down many trees and sometimes not caring to replace planting more.
Academic and research institutions have significantly aided in research on characteristics of trees to establish the suitable species that can be grown in specific areas and finding ways of reclaiming land from swamps and arid lands so as to ease the pressure on forest zone and ensuring maximum utilization of trees cuts.
Unless we take possible measures to conserve the environment we live in, Miller (1972:261) worn that unless we (in Africa) mend our ecological behavior, we will be poisoned by the food we eat, choked by the air we breathe, surrounded by rivers and beach which have become sewers. Man is therefore the main polluter of the environment. Proper economic and legal measures in form of high taxes on waste disposal are to be incorporated into the policies by world government to reduce the rate of pollution.
Industries boost economy and provide employment and significantly contribute to the growth of Growth National products (GNP) but those Industries are the causes of environmental degeneration. We have to agree on this and work ways out to reduce environmental degradation.
We have to work out ways of minimizing industrial pollution. As Ogbudinkpa Senior lecturer department of Economics University of Nigeria, (2003) PP. argues that Polluting firms, and consumers of polluting products, are made to bear the cost of pollution prevention and clean up in accordance with the polluters pay principle. A, ideas on Human Impact on the Environment and prospects for a sustainable future in Africa: Edited by Darkoh M.B.K and Rwomire.
Water issue is closely related climate change and global warming. Water is life; all forms of life on earth depend on water. No life is life without water. Water issue poses many challenges to our environments. Obtaining clean pure drinking water is hard. Population of our towns is ever growing. It is rapid exploding population and urbanization pose a threat to water utilization and diminution. The unsafe, surface water for drinking, food production and domestic use is a medium of pollution and transmission of water related diseases.
The interaction of the society and the environment is a mutual process but on the other hand influences people, resulting not infrequent loss of life, properties and obstruction of human activities. Sergey M.G. explained in his eBook. Natural Process and Human Impacts: interaction between humanity and the environments.
The role of the government is to minimize the level of environmental degeneration that is resulted from human pursuits of economical and social development. This is because there is no possible way to restore natural environmental beauty and purity so long as we are in need of more industries. Minimizing all types of waste dumped on the land water and air reduces the effects of degeneration of environmental significantly.
Human survival is dependent on the environment. There is therefore need to handle environment problems with care and always put on top of every list of agenda if human to live a safe life on the mother earth.
Concise Oxford English Dictionary (2011) Twelfth Edtion, London.
Edited by Darkoh M. and Rwomire A. Human Impact on Evironment and Sustainable Development In Africa . Ashgate publishing limited England (2003)
Top Mark Serious. Georgaphy.Kenya Literature Bureau (2006)
Kutz. M. Handbook of Evironmental Degradation of Materials :Ebook ( 2003)
Govorushko M. S. Natural Processes and Human Impacts: Interaction Between Human and the Evironment. ( google Ebook ) n.d.
Muslin M. Global warming : Causes, effects and future.( google: ebook) n.d.
Protectors and Profiling Evironments : Mapping and Profiling Environmental Organisation in Kenya :Heinrich Boll foundation, (2006)