Rivers are considered to be most important freshwater source to humanity. It is also a fundamental resource not only for human life but also for fauna and flora and crucial to the equilibrium of the environment and biodiversity. However, the unmindful exploitation of the great natural endowment and its wetlands have metamorphosed into serious menace. It is in the light of this that the paper looked into situation analysis and initiatives for protection of rivers for sustainable development. The paper adopted multi-stage approach. Meanwhile, the study area was delineated along political senatorial districts. One major river from each of the senatorial districts was selected. The sampling frame for the study was 268,085 out of which 0.15% was taken as the sample size, translating to 402 and 398 questionnaires were retrieved. The study revealed a strong relationship between rivers and economic activities; poor utilization of rivers and their wetlands. The mismanagement of rivers and their wetlands portend great danger to the survival of both aquatic and terrestrial lives. The dumping of wastes in the rivers and their wetlands also serve as severe pathogenic pollution that affects rivers. The paper recommends public awareness; enforcement of the legal and regulatory framework and constant monitoring of the integrity of freshwater with a view to prevent fresh water and its wetlands from further degradation.
Key words: Adaptability, Equilibrium, freshwater, Livability and Mis-management.
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