Ranges of mount Mporoto are located in Mbeya City-Tanzania. The mountain is covered by natural forest which is managed by the Government. In this forest there are different wild animals and one of them endemic specie known as KIPUNJE by its local name, and also at the top of this mountain there is a natural lake called lake IGOSI.
The mountain started to lose its cover because of encroachments as a result of urbanization. Increase in human being population had lead to demand increase for areas to establish settlement hence encroachment of protected areas forests being one of them.in the mountainous environment because the areas kept for settlement are becoming a big problem.
The mountain started to lose its cover due to daily human activities such as construction, farming, burning and grazing this leads to adverse impacts ecologically and socially.
Ecologically; Deforestation destroy the habitats of wild animals especially the endangered species that are quickly disappearing as they lack habitat and food for them to survive this leads to the loss of biodiversity, since other animals depend on plants for forage but if they are destroyed migration to other areas suitable for them is inevitable, with exception of some few species which can highly tolerate the situation.
At the top part of the mountain where lake IGOSI is found it has not yet been known where the source of water that feeds this lake comes from, but it is suspected that the lake has been fed by water that is generated by the forest, the process of urbanization may leads water to dry up and decrease the depth of the lake and when this happens we may loss the aquatic species that are found in the lake hence loss of biodiversity.
Socially; Deforestation is the main cause of social problem, because it leads to water scarcity in terms of clean and safe water .This leads to the eruption of water borne disease like cholera, dysentery and typhoid in the concerned areas because of contaminated water. The problem of water scarcity made women to suffer as they walk long distances searching for clean and safe water for the domestic purposes.
Community participatory approach should be used in forest conservation and protection as they will feel ownership so they won’t allow any further destruction to occur in their areas. As population increases, more settlement demands are required, hence further destruction of forest in the name of development. Development should take other route to avoid adverse effects of deforestation in these mountainous ecosystems.
Tulizo Malavanu-YET 2011