Ethiopia’s population has been growing very rapidly. The population growth rate is much higher and is increasing much faster than the economic growth rate and is growing beyond the carrying capacity of the country’s natural resources, such as land, water, soil, forest, etc.
These negative results of rapid population growth have caused many environmental and socio-economic problems.
Deforestation refers to the removal of forest cover of an area without adequate replacement.
In other words, it is the process of the indiscriminate destruction of the natural vegetation cover of a forest area. Forests are the lungs of the earth.
They absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and exhale oxygen.
They also store energy from the sun, bind topsoil to land, and aid in climate control by capturing and releasing water.
They also provide a habitat for innumerable species of
plants and animals, serving as a global storehouse of genetic diversity.
The direct negative consequences of deforestation include the following.
- It accelerates soil erosion
- It destroys biodiversity.
- It affects rainfall by decreasing evapotranspiration.
- It results in shortages of food supply.
- It affects the natural beauty of the affected areas.
Substances released into an environment that cause harm to living organisms or built structures (e.g. roads, buildings).
The substances may be human-made or natural. Harm occurs when the receiving environment cannot easily assimilate the type or quantity of substance released.
In other word, Pollution refers to any undesirable change in natural conditions of water, air, and other components of the natural environment that has negative effects on the health and activities of human beings and other living creatures.
The effects of pollution range from aesthetic nuisance through to economic loss, health damage, death and long-term environmental degradation.
The release of pollution may be sudden, or it may involve a slow accumulation of substances, such as the concentration of heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides in food chains.
The impacts of pollution may also be gradual or sudden.
The impact may be short-lived or exist for a long time. It may be local, widely dispersed or far from the source of pollution.
Pollution may be described by its medium (e.g. air or water pollution), its character (e.g. noise pollution and acid rain) or its source (e.g. industrial pollution).
In Ethiopia, rapid population growth leads to environmental pollution by increasing emission of the amounts of pollutants such as:
- Sewage, solid wastes, and pollutant gases are generated by households.
- Pollutant gases, liquids, and solid chemicals are generated by expanded industries.
- Pollutant gases generated by the increasing number of automobiles.
- Agricultural pollutants, such as fertilizers, pesticides, animal wastes, etc.