Should Buildings on River Catchment Areas be Demolished?

One of the questions that conservationists grapple with is the one touching on the fate of the structures that are built on river catchment areas. The key question is on whether such buildings should be allowed to continue standing, or whether they should be demolished.

If the buildings on river catchment areas are demolished, it would serve as a deterrent to other individuals who may have aspirations of building on such areas. The individuals would think twice before going ahead to put up structures on river catchment areas: knowing that there  is a risk of the buildings being brought down. Some people argue that this is actually the best way to go about conserving the river catchment areas.

Yet, on the other hand, the decision to demolish the structures that are built on river catchment areas is bound to have a negative political impact. The owners of the buildings are likely to revolt: and these are usually well-connected individuals. They are the sorts of individuals who can actually bring a government down.

Ideally, a government should do what is right, even if it is not necessarily popular. Yet governments care about their popularity a great deal. From time to time, we see surveys (much similar to the dgcustomerfirst survey) aimed at gauging governments’ popularity. That is where, every once in a while, you come across media reports that such and such a president’s approval ratings are at such and such percentage points. This means that the governments can’t afford to totally ignore people’s opinions. And seeing that demolition of structures that are built on river catchment areas is bound to make any government unpopular, that is how some governments opt to allow such buildings to continue standing. But by so doing, they end up endangering the rivers that flow from the catchment areas — which has a rather negative impact on more people downstream.

It therefore becomes clear that in making the decision on whether the structures built on river catchment areas should be demolished, governments have to engage in delicate balancing acts.

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