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Users’ perceptions and understanding of two urban wetlands in Harare, Zimbabwe


Year published: 2019
Categories: Journal Article

Author / Authors:

  • Emmah Mandishona
  • Jasper Knight


Wetland management and conservation is a priority in southern Africa, and urban wetlands are particularly vulnerable to pollution, development and environmental degradation. This study focuses on the perceptions of urban residents towards two wetlands in Harare, Zimbabwe, as a means of better evaluating their sustainability and management challenges. Questionnaires, interviews and focus groups of wetland users and residents were used, focusing on their attitudes towards and understanding of wetlands, and how the wetlands are used and valued from different perspectives. Results showed that urban wetland use is driven by broader economic, social and political conditions, and has compromised wetland integrity. The majority of respondents are aware of the socioeconomic benefits of wetlands, and also the negative environmental effects associated with wetland use. However, despite this awareness, there is little institutional or governmental support for more effective wetland use by residents, and existing wetland legislation is not being effectively implemented, hindering their sustainable use.

South African Geographical Journal, 101:3, 326-348, DOI: 10.1080/03736245.2019.1626759


  • Journal Article