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This unit talks about controlling and managing of the environment.


Controlling and Managing changes in the environment takes various forms of measures towards environmental conservation and protection of nature.

Conservation:- This is the protection and proper management of preservation of resources in the environment.

  • Resources that need to be conserved include, soil, air, water, plants, animals and minerals.

Importance of conservation practices.


  • Environmental degradation is the lowering of the quality of resources in the environment.



  • Soil land degradation.
  • Deforestation or devegatation.
  • Wetland degradation.
  • Environmental pollution.
  • Wildlife destruction.







Causes of environmental degradation.

  • Human causes.
  • Natural cause/hazards.

How to control environmental degradation.

  • Putting laws in place to protect the environment.
  • Educating people about the values of the environment and maintaining it.
  • Using alternative resources that do not degrade the environment.
  • Controlling population growth to reduce pressure on the environment.
  • Recycling of some resources to control exhaustion of limited resources.
  • Controlled harvesting of resources to control extinction.

Conservation of soil.

  • Soil conservation refers to the careful use of soil without exhausting it.
  • It also refers to the measures taken to maintain soil fertility.
  • It is the protection and proper management of soil to keep it fertile.
Bush burning destroys the soil

How the soil becomes exhausted.


  • Through monoculture.
  • Bush burning.
  • Over cultivation.
  • Overgrazing.
  • Overstocking.
  • Disposal of nonbio degradable materials e.g. glass, polythene, plastic, metal scrap, etc.
  • Through excessive soil erosion.
  • Through leaching.





How to conserve soil.

Please click on the blue and white buttons to listen to the audios and then write the methods of soil conservation that you hear. The first button from the left provides a normal voice whereas the last one offers a much slower speed.


Other methods of soil conservation include

  • Applying of artificial and natural fertilizers.
  • Applying dead/closed seasons.
  • Control disposal of biodegradable materials in the soil.

Effects of soil degradation.

  • It leads to low crop yields.
  • It leads to death of aquatic life since soil is eroded into water.
  • It can lead to siltation.
  • It leads to washing away of plants.
  • It can lead to floods.

Protection of wetlands.

A wetland is a place with soft soil and water having vegetation growing in it.

Examples of wetlands.

  • Swamps
  • Marshes.
  • Pit bogs.
  • Inland flood plains.
  • Coastal flood plains.
  • Tidal flood plains.
  • Estuaries.
  • Deltas
Image result for Swamps habitats for aquatic life
We get fish from wetlands

Importance of wetlands.

  • They are habitats for aquatic life.
  • Some are sources of rivers.
  • Wetlands filter surface water.
  • They influence the formation of rainfall.
  • They control floods by absorbing water.
  • They are sources of raw materials for the art and craft industry.
  • They are good areas for research studies.
  • They are sources of food like fish.
  • They provide water for industrial and domestic use.

How wetlands are destroyed.

  • By draining water from them.
  • By releasing poisonous chemicals into them which leads to pollution.
  • By clearing forests around them which leaves them unprotected.
  • By releasing hot water in them which increases the temperature of water and kill some animals and plants.
  • By filling wetlands with soil to construct buildings.
  • By over-harvesting of resources from wetlands e.g. papyrus.

How wetlands can be protected.

  • By treating human wastes before releasing them into wetlands.
  • By putting laws in place against wetland destruction.
  • Educating people about the proper use of wetlands.
  • By developing local tourism where local people also benefit.
  • Proper harvesting of wetland resources.
  • By encouraging people to grow upland rice.
  • Not allowing wetlands for industrial development.

Proper harvesting of wetland resources.

  • Harvesting is the getting of ready resources for human use.
  • Some of the resources which are harvested include:- papyrus, grass, palms, fish, snakes, water ducks, crocodiles.

    Image result for harvesting papyrus
    Men harvesting papyrus from a wetland
  • Resources in the wetlands are harvested sustainably in the following ways;
  • By catching only mature fish and leaving the young ones to grow.
  • Getting little clay and leaving new clay to form.
  • Cutting papyrus in a way that some are left to get as habitat for aquatic life.
  • Regulating the use of water so that wetlands are not drained.
  • Cutting few trees for human use so that some are left as habitats for some animals.

Conservation of forests.

  • A forest is a collection of trees in an area.

Importance of forests.

  • Provides timber.
  • They are habitats for wildlife.
  • Modify climate by helping in the formation of rainfall.
  • They help to purify air.
  • They control soil erosion.
  • They provide shade.
  • They are a source of medicine.
  • They are used for research.
Image result for energy saving stoves
An energy-saving stove

Forests can be conserved in the following ways.

  • By afforestation and re-afforestation.
  • By agroforestry.
  • Use of energy-saving stoves.
  • Use of alternative sources of fuel.
  • By rural electrification.
  • Enforcing laws against deforestation.
  • Improved methods of agriculture.
  • Educating people about the proper use of forests.
  • By harvesting only mature trees.


  • Biodiversity refers to a variety of plant and animal species in the environment.


  • Biodiversity refers to a variety of living things in the environment.
  • The way these animals and plants benefit from each other is called interdependency.Image result for biodiversity

Ways used to protect biodiversity.

  • By protecting forests against deforestation.
  • Avoid poaching of wild animals.
  • Avoid unnecessary killing of animals that are not in protected areas.
  • Reducing of over-harvesting of plants and wetland materials.
  • Controlling the pollution of air, water, and soil.
  • Educating people about the proper use of flora and fauna.
  • Putting law in place to protect the environment against destruction.
  • Keeping endangered species of animals and plants in protected areas.

Conservation of atmospheric air.

  • Atmospheric air is air around us. It plays a very big role in supporting life.
  • If the air is contaminated, it can lead to diseases and death.

How atmospheric air is polluted.CONTROLLING AND MANAGING CHANGES IN THE ENVIRONMENT; air pollution

  • Through release of poisonous gases from industries.
  • Through exhaust fumes from vehicles.
  • Through the release of dangerous fumes from agricultural chemicals sprayed to control diseases and pests.
  • Through dust generated by strong wind (storm).
  • Through dangerous chemicals released by volcanic eruptions.
  • Through gases from dangerous weapons.

Negative effects of air pollution.

  • It can lead to acidic rains if smoke containing sulphur dioxide reacts with vapour to form acid rains.
  • The floating particles of carbon can easily fall on the leaves and disturb the process of photosynthesis and respiration.
  • Continuously inhaled carbon can lead to respiratory diseases.
  • Smog and fog cause accidents due to poor vision by people.
  • Air pollution leads to global warning if a lot of carbon released in the atmosphere.
  • Dangerous gases called chloroform carbons (CFCs) if released in the atmosphere destroys the Ozone layer leading to Ultraviolet rays to destroy life on earth. The (CFCs) are released from fridges, air conditioners, insecticides e.t.c.

Ways of controlling atmospheric pollution.

  • By planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide.
  • Using unleaded fuel in automobiles.
  • Filtering smoke from industries that produce a lot of smoke.
  • Banning the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction.

Conservation of water.

  • Water is mainly degraded through pollution.
  • It can be polluted in the following ways.
  • Releasing industrial water.
  • Releasing of sewerage in water.
  • Through siltation.
  • Seeping of oil in water.
  • Construction of latrines near water sources.
  • Releasing of agricultural chemicals e.g. fertilizers and pesticides in water sources.
  • Defecating and urinating in water sources.
  • Dumping glasses, polythene, and domestic refuse in water.
  • Fish poisoning.

Ways of protecting water sources.

  • Treating sewage before releasing it into water sources.
  • Constructing pit latrines away from water sources.
  • Avoid releasing of industrial wastes into water sources.
  • Planting trees around water sources.
  • Avoid washing cars near water sources.
  • Use proper methods of fishing other than poisoning.
  • Controlled use of artificial fertilizers.

Environmental degradation

  • Environmental degradation refers to the destruction of the quality of resources in the environment.


  • Environmental degradation is the lowering of the quality of the environment.
  • There are both natural and artificial causes of environmental degradation.
Earthquakes degrade the environment

Natural causes of environmental degradation.

  • Earthquakes.
  • Volcanic eruptions.
  • Drought
  • lightening


  • This is a sudden and violent shaking of the earth brought about by the internal movement of the earth.

Effects of earthquakes.

  • Destruction of human life.
  • Destruction of property.
  • Blocking of communication lines.
  • Causes strong storms if it occurs in water.

How to minimize the effects of earthquakes.

  • Constructing earthquake-resistant houses.
  • Move out of the building during an earthquake.
  • Build a house using light materials that can cause less damage in case of an earthquake.
  • Putting early warning systems in place.
  • Providing quick first aid to people affected by earthquakes.
Image result for volcanic eruption
Volcanic eruption

Volcanic eruption (effects)

  • Cause death to people and property.
  • Gases produced cause air pollution.
  • Lava can cause water pollution.
  • It can lead to the displacement of people.
  • It can lead to famine.
  • It can lead to blocking of rivers and waterways.


  • Drought refers to along spell with little or no rain.

Causes of drought.

  • Deforestation
  • Drainage of swamps.
  • Global warning.
  • Overgrazing.

Effects of drought.

  • It leads to famine.
  • Death of animals.
  • Outbreak of diseases.
  • Infertility of soil.
  • Lowering of the water table.

How to control the effects caused by drought.

  • By protecting vegetation and water sources.
  • Practicing soil conservation.
  • Planting trees.
  • Planting drought-resistant crops.
  • Planting of quick maturing crops.
  • Practice efficient water harvesting and storage methods.


  • Lightning is a strong flash of light in the sky caused by the meeting of clouds of two different charges.

Effects of lightning.

  • It damages property.
  • It leads to the destruction of trees at times setting them on fire.
  • Loss of human and animal life.
  • Destruction of electrical appliances.
  • Setting of bush fires.

How to protect your self against lighting.

The Quiz below will help you understand the best way to safeguard yourself from lightning during the rain and storm. Please choose which choice you would take in a certain situation.


  • Flood is a great overflow of water over dry land.

Causes of floods.

  • Deforestation
  • Global warming.
  • Storms
  • Siltation
  • Draining of rivers.

Effects of floods.

  • Destruction of animal and plant life.
  • Destruction of property.
  • Blocking of communication lines.
  • Diseases
  • Contamination of water sources.

Ways of controlling floods.

  • Maintaining vegetation in catchment areas.
  • Conserving soil.
  • Creating reservoirs to hold excess water.
  • Educating people about floods, their causes effects and prevention.
  • Protecting wetlands.


  • Storms are strong winds that blow with violence.
  • They can destroy buildings and plants.
  • To avoid destruction caused by storms, plant trees to act as wind brakes.

Human causes of environmental degradation.

Human activities that lead to environmental degradation include:-

  • Bad agricultural practices.
  • Mining
  • Construction of roads and buildings.
  • Poor disposal of wastes.
  • Soil degradation.
  • Poaching
  • Drainage of wetlands.

Types of environmental degradation.

These are;

  • Devegatation
  • Silting of water bodies.
  • Loss of biodiversity.
  • Poor waste management.
  • Soil degradation.
  • Wetland degradation.
  • Soil degradation


  • This is the removal of plant cover from an area.
  • It is caused by the high demand for trees, land for agriculture, and development.

Effects of devegatation.

  • It exposes soil to erosion.
  • It leads to poor yields.
  • Loss of habitats.
  • It leads to drought.
  • It leads to the loss of animal and plant species.
  • It leads to the lowering of the water table.CONTROLLING AND MANAGING CHANGES IN THE ENVIRONMENT; de-vegetation

Control and prevention of devegetation.

  • Making laws to protect forests.
  • Controlling population growth.
  • Practicing afforestation.
  • Re-afforestation and agroforestry.
  • Rural electrification.
  • Use of energy-saving stoves.

Silting of water bodies.

  • Silting is the washing of eroded materials into a water body.

Causes of silting.

  • Deforestation
  • Cultivation along river banks.
  • Clearing of wetlands.
  • Grazing animals along water bodies.
  • Dumping soil near water bodies.
  • Burning bushes along with water bodies.CONTROLLING AND MANAGING CHANGES IN THE ENVIRONMENT; silting

Effects of silting.

  • Creation of shallow water bodies.
  • Drying up of water bodies.
  • Flooding of surrounding areas.
  • Death of aquatic animals.
  • Reduction in the generation of hydro-electricity.
  • Increase in growth of aquatic plants.
  • Destruction of habitats for aquatic animals.

Ways of controlling silting.

  • Afforestation
  • Agroforestry.
  • Re-afforestation.
  • Avoid cultivation along river banks.
  • Protect vegetation cover in water catchment areas.
  • Protection of wetlands.

Poor waste management

  • A waste is any material that is a byproduct of human activity which has no further value. Waste can be in liquid, solid, or gas form.

Why wastes increase in the environment.

  • Lack of proper waste disposal places.
  • Lack of methods of recycling.
  • Use of resources wastefully.

Effects of poor waste management.

  • Ugly littering of the compound.
  • Pollution of water bodies.
  • Poor soils with polythene paper and metal remaining in the soil.
  • Disease outbreak.
  • Blockage of drainage channels.
  • Pollution of air.

Proper management of wastes (solid wastes)

Waste can be managed using the basic 5R’s. Those are;

  • Reduction; minimize generation of wastes.
  • Re-use; e.g. use a worn-out thing for other purposes, using buvera many times, using plastic jerrycans as flower pots, using tyres to make sandals.
  • Recycling; collecting materials that had been thrown away and processing them to make new products e.g. smelting of metal scraps.
  • Return; Bottles and containers should be returned to shops and manufacturers.
  • Refuse / Reject; The use of materials that are difficult to get rid of. Do not allow materials that can be dangerous for the environment.
  • Use of proper bags instead of buvera or plastic bags.
  • Way forward to overcome environmental problem in Uganda.
  • Role of NEMA