This chapter consists of review of related literature which are found out to have significant bearing on the present day.
Rivers in general embody many different values to different people. Rivers symbolize connections, since they touch everyone, and everybody in principle lives downstream. Rivers also symbolize human health, since fresh water from rivers is essential to our communities and ourselves. Another value embodied in a river is that of habitat, highlighting the importance of protecting freshwater ecosystems for fish and wildlife both in the river itself. Rivers are major destinations for recreation by communities. Hobbyists fish in rivers, and other recreation activities such as boating, sports and other leisure activities also take place along rivers.
The advantages and benefits of rivers to communities is clear, what we fail to see sometimes is that throughout a river’s course, human activities may have negative impacts on rivers. Of particular significance is water pollution that is caused by household, trade and industrial activities – solid wastes, chemicals, gray water and sewage, affect the quality of water and impacting its use for drinking and as a habitat for animals and plants. Communities living along rivers are most affected by these negative trends. Pollution of drinking water , and biodiversity loss are the top two environmental concerns.
Communities realize that protecting and conserving rivers – the major source of drinking water – is critical for their future survival. There is a serious lack of awareness and even apathy in ordinary citizens and communities of the impacts of their everyday lives on rivers (waste dumping, pollution, etc.) or that of businesses ( industrial affluent, chemicals, waste water etc.) This adverse influence of stone and san quarrying induces damage in property, depletion of ground water, loss of fertile topsoil and public. Haphazard quarrying of sand from riverbends may cause a rapid change in bed configuration response to the changes in flow. Quarrying basically destroys landscape. This can lead to downstream movement, scouring, or accumulation of sediment while provoking shoreline erosion. Bank erosion is the wearing away of the banks of a stream or river.
This is distinguished from erosion of the bed of the watercourse, which is reffered to as scour. The roots of trees growing by a stream are undercut by such erosion. As the roots bind the soil tightly, they from abutments which jut out over the water . These have significant effect upon the rate and progress of the erosion.