STEPS TAKEN TO IMPROVE INLAND WATER TRANSPORT IN WESTERN EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA

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.Some rivers naturally cannot be used for navigation because of various factors some of which are physical while others are social-economic factors for example occurrence of rapids and waterfalls and cataracts, rocky outcrops, sharp bends, natural valleys, too much silting, occasional flooding, landslides, and many others.

The steps taken include;

  • Regional co-operation to enhance the development and dues of the water ways for example between
  • the USA and Canada that is St Lawrence sea way, between Netherlands, German, Switzerland and Belgium for the Rhine water way.
  • Enlargement or widening of the river valleys so as to accommodate more traffic. Areas that are affected by silt deposits leading to a shallow depth and depending through dredging.
  • Canals have been constructed so as to enlarge the hinterland and also to by-pass rapids and waterfalls.
  • The lock system is used to create deep water in areas with shallow water levels.
  • There is use of ice breakers especially during the heavy winter season.
  • There is construction of ports and modernization or enlargement of existing ports.
  • Mobilization of funds so as to maintain the inland water transport routes.
  • Dams have been constructed to control water flow and also reduce flooding.
  • There is management of river banks for example through construction of concrete river banks carrying
  • afforestation programmes along the banks so as to stabilize them and so much more.
  • Lighting systems are established and maintained so as to improve on visibility.
  • Straightening of river meanders for easy movement of vessels also to shorten the distance along the water.
  • There is continuous modernization on cargo handling so as to reduce on time wastage and damages for example the policy of containerization.
  • Regulating of traffic flow by time tabling movement of ships or vessels.
  • Controlled pollution or treatment of industrial waste so as to reduce on the effects of pollution like corrosion of vessels.
  • Improved security along the water ways so as to rid them off pirates and create a conducive atmosphere for sailing along the water ways.
  • Installation of modern weather warning systems so as to detect sudden storms and take processional measures. Modern marine navigational radars have also been reinstalled so as to detect or guide the incoming and outgoing vessels.