Environmental conservation is protection and preservation of natural resources from destruction, wastage or loss while environmental management is effective planning and control of the processes and activities that could cause deterioration of environment.  

Need For Environmental Conservation and Management/Why its Essential

  1. To sustain human life because it depends or resources from the environment e.g. soil, water, air, forests, wildlife, etc.
  2. So as to protect endangered species of plants and animals from becoming extinct e.g. Meru oak, white rhino and Sokoke Scops owl.
  3. So that the natural resources in the environment can continue sustaining the present and future generations.
  4. Because a lot of natural resources in the environment are of economic value by being consumed directly or by giving us an income.
  5. Because the features in the environment e.g. plants and animals are of aesthetic value i.e. they are beautiful to look at.
  6. For posterity i.e. to ensure a better life for future generations.
  7. To curb global warming by reducing the green house effect which is causing a lot of heat to be trapped in the earth‟s atmosphere.

Environmental Hazards

Dangers or disasters within the environment due to natural causes or human activities.

1) Floods

An overflow of a large amount of water over dry land.


  1. Spilling of excess water of a river over its banks into the surrounding areas.
  2. Rising of the level of the sea or lake due to increased rainfall.
  3. Exceptionally heavy rainfall like El Nino resulting in excess water on land collecting in shallow basins and flat areas causing flooding.
  4. Breaking of a dam making the water in the reservoir to drown the land on the downstream side of the valley.
  5. When an earthquake occurs in the ocean causing huge sea waves called Tsunami which travels to the land flooding it.

Control of Floods

  1. Construction of dams to reduce the speed and amount of water flowing down stream by excess water flowing into the reservoir.
  2. Construction of dykes or high walls some distance from the river bank, lake shoe or sea shore to protect low lying land from being flooded by water from the water body.
  3. Making piles of earth along the riverbanks to form a raised platform to keep flood waters within the river channel.
  4. Reforestation of land to reduce to increase infiltration by vegetation giving rain water ample time to percolate and thus reduce runoff meaning there will be less water in rivers and hence less incidents of flooding.
  5. Dredging of shallow river channels to increase their depth and hence the channels capacity.
  6. Straitening of rivers with meanders to enable the water to flow more swiftly.
  7. Diverting of some river tributaries to reduce the volume of water getting into the main river.

2) Lightning

-Flash of brilliant light in the sky produced by natural electricity passing between clouds or from the clouds to ground.

-Common where convectional rainfall occurs.

-Associated with cumulonimbus clouds.

-Common Kakamega, Kisii and Nyamira and around L. Victoria which experiences in the highest frequency.

-It starts forest fires e.g. in U.S.A and damages houses and electrical installations leading to loss of life and property.


  1. Installing lightning arresters on buildings which are copper rod conductors which direct lightning electrical current into the ground.
  2. Educating the people on the dangers of lightning and precautions to take.
  3. Not taking shelters under trees or on verandas when it‟s raining.
  4. Avoiding walking on open fields during thunderstorms.
  5. If possible people should remain indoors when it‟s raining.

3) Windstorms

Very strong winds that develop as a result of great differences in atmospheric pressure on the ground e.g. hurricanes, tornadoes and typhoons. Kenya experiences thermals.


  • In the deserts they transport sand which may burry houses and oasis.
  • Rip off roofs of buildings
  • Uproot trees and
  • Cause flooding and
  • Felling of crops e.g. cocoa pods.
  • Spreading bush fires

Control Measures

  1. Predicting and monitoring windstorms using satellites to know their development and advancement speed.
  2. Warning people through electronic media of advancing windstorms so that they can move away.
  3. Taking shelter in bankers.
  4. Planting of trees in open ground to break the speed of wind thus reduce its destructive effects.

4) Earthquakes

5) Droughts

Condition whereby an area experiences a rainfall deficient season followe4d by a long dry period.


  1. Insufficient rainfall
  2. Global warming leading to high rates of evaporation which exceed precipitation.
  3. Encroachment of desert like conditions due to destruction of vegetation by deforestation and overgrazing.


  1. Crop failure leading to famines
  2. Deaths due to famines
  3. Shortage of water
  4. Closing of HEP stations
  5. Death of livestock and other herbivores due to shortage of water and pasture
  6. Migration of people to unaffected areas which may lead to conflict due to competition for resources (environmental refugees.
  7. Destruction of vegetation and animal life causes loss of biodiversity.
  8. Poverty as those who depend on agriculture lose their livelihoods.

6) Fires Causes

  1. Kerosene stoves
  2. Candles electric faults
  3. Explosion of oil pipelines
  4. Explosion of oil tankers when people drawing fuel set the on fire accidentally e.g. when attempting to smoke e.g. Sachangwan.
  5. Lightning

7) Volcanic Eruptions Effects

  1. a) Lava flows spread to nearby settlements burying and burning people. b) Set vegetation on fire.
  2. Heated water cause death of aquatic life.
  3. Emit poisonous gases which kill people when they inhale them.
  4. Damage and disrupt infrastructure.

8) Pests and Diseases

Pests- animals, insects and birds which are harmful to other animals and plants. Effects

  • Locusts and army warms destroy vegetation resulting in shortage of pasture for herbivores.
  • Ticks, river flukes, tapeworms and fleas affect animals by transmitting their diseases and weakening them.
  • Jiggers cause woods in human feet through which infections may enter the body.
  • Parasitic plants feed on the host plant leading to its eventual death.
  • Cause problems in the provision of food and maintenance of human health.

Most diseases which affect plants and animals are viral, bacterial or fungal.


  1. Use of chemicals e.g. fungicides, herbicides and pesticides.
  2. Developing plant species which are resistant to pests and diseases.
  3. Biological control e.g. control of tsetse flies by breeding sterile males which are released to mate with females which occurs once in a lifetime thus reducing their population.
  4. Educate people on the proper use of chemicals to prevent resistance and environmental degradation.

9) Pollution

Contamination of environment with harmful or poisonous substances.


1. Water Pollution

Addition of harmful substances in water causing deterioration in the quality of water so that it no longer serves the purpose for which it is intended.

  1. Addition of materials like dust and salts to water through erosion and wind deposition.
  2. Disposal of wastes from houses e.g. sewage into rivers or lakes.
  3. Effluents from industries and factories.
  4. Oil spills from e.g. off shore oil drilling, tankers and burst oil pipes.
  5. Testing of nuclear weapons under the sea.
  6. Agricultural fertilisers and chemicals washed in to the river by rain water.


  1. Causes diseases such as cholera when drinking water is contaminated.
  2. Causes poisoning e.g. when mercury from industries is consumed by fish and is eventually consumed by human beings.
  3. Causes death of aquatic life like fish due to poisoning and suffocation.
  4. Makes introduction of fish into aquatic systems difficult.

Soil/Land pollution

-Addition of harmful substances in the soil land leading to deterioration of their state.

  1. Chemical fertilisers added to improve fertility.
  2. Pesticides, fungicides and herbicides to control pests and diseases.
  3. Chemicals and explosives which are used during mining.
  4. Nuclear testing and careless testing of nuclear wastes.
  5. Presence of garbage heaps which stinks, become breeding ground for disease vectors and make the land to look ugly.
  6. Open cast mining and quarrying of rocks which leaves open pets which people may fall into, water may collect in to them and become breeding ground for mosquitoes which transmit malaria.
  7. Heaping of the overburden on the land during mining.


  1. Causes poisoning and cancers when toxic chemicals are absorbed by crops then people consume them.
  2. Contaminates ground water as rain water aids the toxic chemicals to seep underground.
  3. Kills soil organisms.
  4. Affects the growth of crops by altering soil PH.
  5. Makes land derelict i.e. useless for other activities like agriculture.

Air pollution

-Addition of toxic and harmful substances in to the air which destroy its purity.


  1. Eruption of volcanoes which releases poisonous gases, dust and ash particles to the atmosphere.
  2. Natural fires started by lava flows and lightning which add a lot of smoke into the air.
  3. Industrial emissions e.g. sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons etc.
  4. Dust and carbon particles added by quarrying and factories,
  5. Tanneries which release large quantities of hydrogen sulphide and ammonia into the atmosphere.
  6. Smoke and poisonous gases from motor vehicle emissions.


  1. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide combine with water vapour forming acidic water which corrodes buildings.
  2. Sulphur dioxide also combines with oxygen forming a dilute mixture of sulphuric acid which damages forests, ancient buildings and sculptures.
  3. Lead released into the air from leaded fuels is absorbed by vegetables which are eaten by human beings and animals causing sickness resulting from poisoning.
  4. Large quantities of smoke contribute to formation of smog in industrial cities such as Beijing.
  5. Hydrocarbons cause depletion of ozone layer leading to excess UVR reaching the surface which accelerates global warming and causes problems such as skin cancers, deterioration of plastics etc.
  6. Air pollution also causes respiratory problems and also aggravates respiratory diseases such as asthma. respiratory

Noise Pollution

-Discordant sound which is excessive, unwanted and of a disturbing nature.


  1. Booming music in night clubs, shops or motor vehicles.
  2. Repeated hooting of motor vehicles.
  3. Revving of motor vehicles‟ engines continuously.
  4. Defective exhausts of vehicles or without silencers.
  5. Sound from large aeroplanes and military aircraft.
  6. Loud noises from machines in factories.


  1. Headaches
  2. Stress leading to physical or mental illnesses such as neurosis.
  3. Cause people to become irritable.
  4. Raising blood pressure.
  5. Damaging of eardrums leading to impaired hearing or total deafness

Measures undertaken to Curb Pollution

  1. Not to cultivate on river banks to prevent silting of rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
  2. Sewage treatment before releasing it to the environment.
  3. Regular inspection of factories to ensure they don‟t release toxic fumes to the atmosphere.
  4. Using unleaded fuels.
  5. Sorting garbage before disposing it into vegetative and non-biodegradable e.g. plastics and glass.
  6. Recycling wastes such as plastics, paper, glass and polythene bags and turning vegetative wastes into manure.
  7. Banning use of chemicals with residual effects in the soil e.g. DDT.
  8. Use of ear guards.
  9. Use of efficient energy saving stoves.
  10. Prohibiting playing of loud music in public service vehicles, clubs and etc.
  11. Use of pit latrines
  12. Use of alternative environmentally friendly sources of energy such as solar energy, hydropower, etc.

Environments Management and Conservation Measures

  1. Setting organisations and institutions to coordinate matters related to environmental conservation and management e.g. UNEP. Green Belt Movement, Environmental and wildlife clubs.
  2. The government has made laws governing environment conservation and management e.g. Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, The Water Act, Forest Act etc.
  3. Setting up of ministries to deal with various aspects of environment e.g. Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, Ministry of Water, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, etc.
  4. Presidential decrees and directives e.g. declaration of “Kayas”, Protecting the aloe plant, etc.
  5. Educating people to create awareness on environmental issues through the mass media and seminars.
  6. Participating in environmental activities such as tree planting and construction of gabions during the environmental day.
  7. Research on development of crops that are resistant to certain pests and diseases and environmentally friendly methods of controlling pests (ICIPE).
  8. Setting up recycling factories to recycle scrub metal, paper, glass, plastics and make manure out of vegetative wastes.
  9. Rehabilitating land rendered derelict by mining by filling pits with waste rock and soil and planting vegetation.

Global efforts towards environmental Conservation and Management

  1. Signing of Kyoto Accord where countries agreed to reduce the amount of green house gases they emit.
  2. International law which binds the countries to protect the sea against pollution and overexploitation of its resources.
  3. Guidelines on the use of hazardous chemicals have been issued.
  4. Countries have greed to notify others when they restrict the use of a chemical.
  5. FAO collaborates on matters involving food additives and pesticide residue.
  6. Governments are required to notify others of chemical accidents.
  7. Governments are required to provide assistance when hazardous chemicals cross national frontiers by accident.
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