Man-made lakes, ecological studies and conservation needs in Nigeria
The benefit derived from the creation of man-made lakes in Nigeria and other developing countries is usually associated with great risks. Whenever we establish a dam, it appears we dam the inherent consequences to the detriment of man and his environment. Debts were incurred by the countries concerned, man and animals were displaced, arable lands destroyed including degradation of forest and wild life resources. The creation of dams have also ignored the prevention of man and his life stock from the inherent spread of water borne diseases. The purpose for which a dam is created is threatened if man is indiscriminately exposed to the risk of water borne diseases. The poor and uneconomic management of the fish resources is also another major issue of concern. In order to tap the full potentials of reservoir projects and to promote conservation, it is important to have a round table talk involving all stake holders during the planning stage of such projects. Therefore apart from the engineering works, there is also need for collaboration with all experts from related fields especially the biologists, sociologists and economists for bio-socio-economic reasons during the planning and implementation stages of dam projects in Nigeria and other developing countries.
Keywords: artificial lakes, dams, conservation, fish resources, Nigeria