By Mbizo Chirasha

In the sub-Saharan region of Africa, Wetlands are vast and have been playing a major role in the patterns of our climate , water ecosystems as well as eco-tourism. Industrial civilization , infrastructural development, technological advancement and the quest to grow commercial businesses has realized the demise of wetlands and every life that live within. which means the disturbance of biodiversity. Both plant and animal life has gone extinct due to industrial revolutions that have taken place for centuries in our continent.

Wetlands contribute excessively to our biodiversity and are habitats to several animals and plants. Wetlands are a significant ecological system or a vital component of biodiversity. It is a breeding space of fish and other amphibians like crabs and frogs. Wetlands beautify the earth .In most cases control weather patterns through promoting favorable evaporation processes and also purifying water that have been exposed to wastes reducing chances of acid rains that are harmful to both human , animal life and our flora.

These natural water bodies conserve water and wetness through out drought periods helping societies to resist famines as they grow staples and other cereals like rice. Several countries that enjoy the presence of wetlands are largest producers of rice and and water loving cereals that contribute to the alleviation of hunger and poverty in Africa and other developing continents.

Wetlands are a good cash cow as they promote the tourism economy as well as providing employment to young people, who are in environmental and natural conservation industry. They are also research and academic sources for scholars , environmental scientists, ecotourism experts , natural science scholars, climatologists and environmental economists. These researches are very vital for development for they might help to proffer considerable development , education and preservation of these important natural habitats, hence safeguarding our most treasured biodiversity

In Zimbabwe natural conservation laws have been flouted. Business Plazas, shopping malls , stadiums and and housing cooperatives have been erected on Wetlands and have replaced the existence of these natural economies. Business and Industrial development projects have failed to recognize the purpose of wetlands in the promotion of biodiversity and preservation of natural environment for better climatic conditions and favorable tourism economic opportunities.

Wetlands conservation organisation , Environmental and tourism ministries, scholars , scientists should take time to put stringent measures to protect wetlands as well begin massive campaigns for protection of wetlands to bring back the glory and the beauty of our biodiversity and that the future generations can relate with and benefit from such natural wonders. Wetlands are part of our lives. They provide habitat , money and food to the well being of animals ,plants and humans.

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Article first appeared on Bulawayo 24.