PRESENTATION OF DATA
Research was conducted in the La Brea/ Vessigny area. Specific focus was limited to changes in the ecosystem and changes to the habitat and living organisms. The landscape of the La Brea/ Vessigny area is undulating and covered with thick natural vegetation as shown in figure 1 below.
Fig. 1 showing the natural landscape of the land
Prior to construction of the smelter plant and other linked projects, this area was home to many different types of flora and fauna. In its natural state, the area was viable for hunting and other agricultural practices. Rivers in the area also provided a livelihood for local freshwater fishermen. Due to filling of the rivers with excavated soil, rivers are no longer a viable entity to local fishermen and have caused the people of this area to become unemployed. As a result, the financial stability of residents has gone down, as most are unemployed now.
For construction to take place, a lot of land once used for agriculture was cleared using the ‘slash and burn’ technique. This destroys the soil’s organisms and decreases the moisture content resulting in infertile soil. As shown in figure 2 below, Infertile soil can lead to flooding and soil erosion that will pose a problem to residents of this area unless measures are put in place.
Fig. 2 showing infertile soil and the poor drainage and erosion that has taken place
Flooding and soil erosion can cause destruction of properties in the area and loss of life as people and wildlife of the area may become hurt. In addition, items lost during this destruction will be costly to replace which further puts the residents in financial problems. Another effect of the ‘slash and burn’ method is air pollution since combustion is taking place. Combustion releases gases such as carbon dioxide in the air. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide contribute to global warming which increases the earth’s average...
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