SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARD FOUR

CHAPTER ONE : OUR ENVIRONMENT

KEY TERMS

  1. Environment: These are all things that surround us. They include living and non-living things.
  2. Degradation: This is destruction of the environment
  3. Deforestation: This is the act of cutting down of trees
  4. Overgrazing: This is keeping large number of animals in a small piece of land.
  5. Soil erosion: This is the carrying of top soil from one place to another.
  6. Pollution: This is introducing harmful chemicals in the environment
  7. Global warming: This is the increase of world temperature.
  8. Environmental conservation: This is the practice of protecting the environment against destruction.
  9. Afforestation: This is the planting of trees, where there was non.
  10. Reafforestation: This is replanting of trees where they never existed.
  11. Agroforestation: Is the planting of trees and crops together

Environment is all the things that surround us. Land, tress, animals birds, houses rivers etc are all parts of the environment.

The environment is the natural world in which people, animals and plants live.

Environment consists of living things and non-living things.

Examples of living organisms are people, plants and animals, Examples of non living things are Land, rivers rocks.

CONSERVING THE ENVIRONMENT OF THE SURROUNDING SOCIETY

To conserve is to protect. Environmental conservation is the practice of protecting the environment against destruction. Environment contributes a lot in shaping our lives. Therefore, it is our duty to conserve it. We should not destroy our environment.

The components of our village environment

Our village is called Mtakuja. It has a nice environment. People in our village conserve the environment. If you look carefully at the picture of Mtakuja village you will see that there is no destruction of environment in the village.

The river is clean. It is not contaminated. There are many trees. The grass is green. There are no factories which give out smoke and pollute the air. Animals feed on grass in an organised manner. Houses and huts in the village are also well spaced. 

Actions which contribute to the destruction of the environment.

Environmental destruction is also called degradation. This is basically the reduction of quality of the environment by destroying it or adding dirt. The following human activities leads to destruction of the environment.

1. Cutting down of trees.

Cutting down of trees is the destruction of environment. It is also called deforestation. People cut trees for various reasons such as

  • Timber
  • Firewood
  • Charcoal
  • Farming

Trees give us oxygen and rain. They are home of animals, birds and insects.

2. Burning forests and bashes

Burning forest destroys environment. If we bum forests. we destroy trees and other Ur:inc.,' organisms including insects. animals and birds. After burning forests, we stop getting honey, herbs and fruits. In case a forest is burnt, soil remains bare or uncovered. The hare soft easily gets eroded by wind, rain or animals.

3. Dumping Garbage and disposal industrial waste

Garbage attracts insects which cause diseases. It is dangerous to put a garbage dumping site near residential area.

  • Indutrial wastes are dangerous to living organism and can cause death
  • Bad smell comes from decaying waste
  • Damped garbage is a source of many diseases
  • It can be a home of dangerous organism

4. Overgrazing.

Overgrazing is keeping a lot of animals in a very small piece of land. They eat the grass and leave the ground bare. Bare grounds leads to soil erosion. Bare ground also produce dust which causes disease like flue and cough to people.

5. Air Pollution.

To pollute air is to add impurities like smoke to it. It comes from factories, vehicles and other machines which use fuel. Polluted air can cause heart and lung diseases.

6. Mining activities

Mining is the removal of minerals from under the ground. Places where minerals are obtained are called mines. Mining also lead to environmental destruction. Many trees are cut during the establishment of mines. Mining also leads to making the landscape ugly. The land is left with pits which may be dangerous to people and animals.

Effects of environmental destruction

Effects of cutting down trees and clearing bushes

There is a great need for us to protect our environment. Without the natural vegetation our lives will be in great danger. Cutting down trees and clearing bushes affects our liveslfwecontinue to destroy the natural vegetation, the following will  happen:

  1. We shall not get rain. Trees contribute a lot in rain formation. 
  2. Wild animals and birds will not get habitation. They Will dispose get mixed with people. They will kill us and destroy our crops.
  3. Medicines will disappear since the drugs we use are made from herbs. We often fall sick. We depend on medicine for treatment. Without medicine, we shall die.
  4. The atmosphere will be fitted with the carbon dioxide we pro­duce. Carbon dioxide will eventually form a cover that will trap heat. There will be an increase in temperature. All the people will die.
  5. We shall not get oxygen which is produced by plants. we need oxygen.
  6. Many rivers will dry up. We shall not get water to drink. Many rivers have their sources in forests. Destroying forests means destroying rivers.

Effects of mining

Mining affects our environment as follows: -

  • Mining leads to air pollution and global warming: Dust and smoke generated by machines involved in mining add dirt to the atmosphere. This situation is known as air pollution. Car­bon dioxide and other gases eventually form a cover in the atmosphere that trap heat. There will be an increase in tem­perature on the earth. This situation is called global warming.
  • Mining leads to deforestation. Deforestation is the removal (cutting down) of trees from an area. Trees are cut during the establishment of mining centres and settlements.
  • Mining leads to environmental pollution. Waste materials end in rivers, lakes and seas. We drink water from rivers and lakes. Fish live in water.
  • Mining leads to destroying the landscape since land is left full of pits due to mining activities.
  • Mining leads to the spread of diseases especially malaria. When abandoned pits are filled with stagnant water they be­come breeding areas for mosquitoes.
  • High and loud sounds made by running machines cause headache and heart diseases to people in the neighbourhood.

Effects of industrial activities

Industrial activities affect our environment in the following ways:-

  1. Dirty water and chemicals are directed to water sources. People and other living organisms use the polluted water which is dangerous to their lives.
  2. Furniture and paper manufacturing industries rely on timber as a raw material. This has led to the cutting down of many trees.
  3. Smoke and gases from industries pollute air in the atmosphere. People suffer from diseases like tuberculosis, cancer and heart failure.
  4. Houses near industries are shaken due to the great force from heavy machines used in industries. Walls create cracks.
  5. Loud and high sounds made by running machines may cause headache and diseases to people in the neighbourhood.

Effects of trade

Trade is the buying and selling of goods. Many people take part in trade. They move from one place to another. Trade also affects environment in the following ways: -

1. Many used products are dumped on roads and other places.

They include bottles, cans and polythene bags. Hawkers sell drinks on the streets in towns and cities. If cans and pollute containers are not well disposed or recycled they will pollute the environment.

  1. Heavy trucks that carry goods destroy roads.
  2. Trade has led to the flow of people to towns. This situation leads to the spread of communicable diseases and shortage of food.
  3. Dirty markets contribute to the spread of diseases such as cholera.
  4. Some traders sell expired goods which are poisonous to people.

Effects of Livestock Keeping

Livestock keeping affects environment in the following ways:-

  • Overgrazing makes the animals feed on all grass and leave the land bare. Bare land can easily be taken by wind and water.
  • Animals can polute water when they drink directly from rivers and lakes.

Environmental conservation activities in our area

To conserve is to protect. Environmental conservation is the practice of protecting the environment against destruction. Environment is of great importance to us. It contributes a lot in shaping our lives. Therefore, it is our duty to conserve the environment. Our environment should be safe from destruction. You should not destroy the environment.

The following are environmental conservation activities done in our area: -

  1. Planting trees

We should plant trees and flowers at home, school and in our area. The following are large scale tree planting schemes: -

Afforestation: This is the planting of trees where there are no trees before.   

Reafforestation: It is the replanting of trees in an area where they have been cut down.

Agroforestry : This is the planting of trees and crops together

  1. Watering plants

You should take good care of trees and flowers you plant. Watering makes plants grow well.

Benefits of conserving the environment

The following are the benefits of conserving the environment: -

  1. We will get enough rain. We need rain for the growth of our crops and for water for our own use.
  2. Wild animals and birds will get habitation. They will not die or get mixed with people. We shall remain safe.
  3. Our livestock will get pasture. Rain makes pasture to grow.
  4. Medicines will be available. When we protect forests we get different spices and medicinal herbs for curing many diseases.
  5. We get shade and cool air. Trees give us shade and help to cool the air.
  6. We will get oxygen which is produced by plant. s. We need ox­ygen in order to live.
  7. Many rivers will not dry up. We shall get water to drink. Many rivers have their sources in forests.
  8. We will get plenty of crops, fruity; and other forest products which we can use for food and as raw materials in factories.

Institutions which take part in environmental conservation

There are many institutions in our country which take part in environmental conservation. The following are institutions which involve themselves in protecting the environment.

1. Vice President's Office

The Vice President's Office has the national responsibility of  educating people about environmental conservation. It prepares programs of educating people on the importance of conserving the environment.

The Vice President's Office also ensures that environmental conservation programs reach people through the media.

2. National Environment Management Council (NEMC)

NEMC was started in 1983 with the aim to oversee environmental management issues. It is the government organ that promotes environmental management in Tanzania through coordination, facilitation, awareness raising, enforcement, assessment, monitoring and research on environmental issues.

CHAPTER SUMMARY.

  • Environment-This is all what surrounds us.
  • Conservation is the act of keeping the protected from destruction.
  • Destruction of environment can be caused by cutting o trees, burning of forests, dumping of garbage, overgrazing, air pollution and mining activities.
  • Mining leads to air pollution and global warming
  • Trade can also contribute to environmental destruction.
  • Activities that can contribute to environmental conservation includes, afforestation, reafforestation and agroforestation.
  • We should stop burning of forest, keep the right number of animals, use right farming methods, and avoiding water and air pollution.
  • Conservation is very important because it enables sustainable use of resources.
  • Vice presidents office and national environment management council are institutions mandated with environmental conservation.

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TOPICAL EXAMINATION : THE ENVIRONMENT

SECTION A.

1. Write true for a correct statement and false for incorrect statement

  1. Environment is all things that surround us…………….
  2. Trees are not part of the environment………………..
  3. To conserve is to protect………….
  4. To degrade is to reduce the quality of something………….
  5. We should build industries in residential areas………….
  6. Smoke from industries is dangerous to our health………….
  7. Terracing is good for the environment……………
  8. We should cut trees to reduce them and make environment neat…
  9. Our environment should be dirty……………….
  10. We should grace our animals in a small piece of land………….

2. Choose the correct answer from the choices given;

(i) …….is the removal of minerals from the ground

  1. Fishing
  2. Mining
  3. Farming

(ii)The following practices protects the land from degradation

  1. Pollution
  2. Terracing
  3. Erosion

(iii) Replanting trees from an area where they have been cut is called….

  1. Afforestattion
  2. Deforestation
  3. Reafforestation

(iv) We should avoid using dynamite and ……………..chemical in fishing

  1. Metallic
  2. Poisonous
  3. Wooden

(v) Keeping many animals in a small piece of land is called;

  1. Over cropping
  2. Over eating
  3. Overgrazing

3. Write three effects of clearing environment

4. Write any four effects of mining

5. Write any four effects of industrial activities

6. Write three effects of trade on the environment

7. Mention the benefits of environmental conservations

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