Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Preliminary investigation of flooding problems and the occurrence of kidney disease around Hadejia-Nguru wetlands, Nigeria and the need for an ecohydrology solution.

Abstract

Increasing incidences of flooding and kidney disease in the communities surrounding the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands present a cause for concern. This paper presents the outcome of preliminary investigations carried out in the affected communities of Jigawa and Yobe States. The results show that 85% of the profiled communities mostly located within the floodplain area experience both human and financial losses due to these problems. The flooding is believed to occur as a result of changes in rainfall patterns and the flow regime of the riverine systems, reduction of river channel capacity, low lying topography and bioinvasion by Typha grass. The prevalence of kidney disease has been traced to possible contamination of water sources due to the large-scale use of agrochemicals to improve agricultural production and pollutants from other sources upstream and within the wetlands area. Water quality analysis conducted on water samples from the Hadejia and Yobe rivers revealed high concentrations of lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) ranging from 13 to over 150 times above acceptable limits. Records from health centers near the communities show that 40% of patients admitted suffered from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), 70% of whom were from Gashua, Nguru and Jakusko in Yobe and some communities in Jigawa State. Despite these findings, establishing cause-and-effect relationships requires an in-depth investigation of hydrological, environmental, ecological and socio-economic changes occurring in the wetlands area. Although our findings reveal some promising possibilities for establishing targets and intervention program, ecohydrological systemic approaches are recommended to identify cause-and-effect links and provide sustainable solutions.