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University of Tulsa

Publication Date

Spring 2010

Program Name

Botswana: Community-Based Natural Resource Management

Abstract

The governments of Botswana and Zambia desire a bridge to replace the current ferry boat that operates between the two countries. An environmental impact assessment was recently completed to assess the potential impacts this development might have on surrounding areas. This EIA was inadequate in its study of the wetland area called Cassandra Farms.

Analysis of the trees and vegetation in the area showed that the area was a mixed woodland dominated by sickle bush, an encroaching species that flourishes in degraded environments. There were also protected tree species that were present in the location of the proposed new border post. Over 100 different species of birds were found in the study site with a large number of water dwelling species such as lapwings, herons, jacanas, storks, and ducks. Other animals in the study site included waterbuck, elephant, buffalo, impala, and wild dogs.

The proposed construction is likely to have a significant impact on the wetland. The proposed new border post will be partially located within the current wetland creating a loss in wetland habitat and obstructing the flow of water to the area. The proposed railroad will pass through the wetland, potentially obstructing the flow of water to the wetland if mitigation measures are not taken. The railroad might also obstruct the movement of animals to and from the wetland. Construction of the railroad will also run into and through present and proposed commercial and residential sites.

Further research of vegetation, wildlife, hydrology, and soils will be required to adequately asses the potential impact of development in the Cassandra Farms area.

Disciplines

Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment

 

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