The Meaning of Human Activities
– Are functions or tasks or work carried out or done by human beings over time for achieving certain purposes or goals.
– It is any task performed by man for the purpose of earning his or her livelihood.
– Are what people do or cause to happen in order to achieve a certain goal in life.
– Are acts or processes of producing certain things intended by people in a place, which can be a country, region, district or a village.
In Geography, human activities refer to tasks human beings do modify the environment as well as extract the resources from the environment which are needed for survival, that is, satisfying human needs and wants. To fulfil this goal, man has been modifying the tools needed for obtaining resources from the environment from basic to more advanced and efficient technology.
Goals or Purposes of Human Activities
- Production of food crops.
2 Production of cash crops.
- Construction of infrastructure that facilitate movement of goods, services and people
- cleaning the area to avoid pollution and outbreak of diseases like cholera, amoebic dysentery, etc.
- Human activities use up resources to produce products and services.
MAJOR TYPES OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES
Human activities may be classified into four types namely:
- Primary activities
- Secondary activities
- Tertiary activities
- Quaternary activities
- Primary Activities
Primary activities involve exploitation of nature in the production of materials. Production in this kind of activities largely depends on the earth’s natural resources.
Examples of primary activities include:
- Farming (Agriculture), hunting and gathering
- Mining and Quarrying,
- Fishing, mining and quarrying,
- Forestry (Lumbering)
- Hunting and gathering, livestock keeping
These are human activities that involve a process of manufacturing raw materials into useful products. Secondary activities are of great importance as they lead to fast economic development since they produce products that have immediate demands in the society. They also accelerate development of primary activities by providing a market for raw materials produced through lumbering, agriculture and mining.
Examples of Secondary Activities:
- Coffe pulping, cotton gining,
- Sisal decortication, cloth making,
- Construction of houses, manufacturing of glass,
- Car assembly, making paper, making glue,
- Processing of steel and iron from ore.
These are the activities that involve the provision of services that are needed in the society.
Examples of tertiary activities include:
- Trade (restaurants, hotels, lodges, supermarkets), water supply
- Schools (Teachers), advertising, mechanics
- Hospitals (Doctors), legal services in court, entertainment,
- Transportation (Driving), plumbing, waste management, religious services.
These are activities that involve provision of intellectual services and information. These activities were formally included in the tertiary activities. Quaternary activities include, High-tech industries with information technology, Scientific research, consultancies and library services. Computer based activities like making software are part and parcel of quaternary activities.
In general quaternary activities are considered to be new and started in the last decade.
Computer based activity
5. Quinary Activities
These are activities that are done by top executives or officials in fields such as governments. They involve the highest level of planning and decision making in the society or economy. Quaternary and quinary activities e.g. research and information are important in the development of farming, mining, tourism and trade.
Importance of Human Activities
Human activities are important in various ways:
- Helps in generation of government revenue
Helps in producing raw materials such as cotton for textile industries.
They provide employment to peoples in the country..
- Human activities such as agriculture and fishing lead to production of food.
Activities like construction of roads contribute to the development of transport and communication networks.
Environmental Problems Caused by Human Activities
Apart from having positive impacts on the development of the country, human activities tend to lead to occurence of varios environmental problems as follows:
- Air pollution. This can be caused by industrial emissions and burning of agricultural activities
- Water pollution. It can be caused by dumping of untreated waste materials into the water bodies.
- Soil pollution. It can be caused by dumping of radioctive materials into the ground and applying chemicals in the farms.
- Deforestation. This can take place when trees are excessively cleared during preparation of large farms, lumbering, overgrazing and settlements.
- Soil erosion. This takes place easily on the land that has been left bare due to excessive cutting of trees for lumbering, farming and construction.
Measures for Controlling Environmental Problems Caused by Human Activities
Environment problems caused by human activities can be addressed in varios ways which include:
- Discouraged the improper dumping of waste in the soil or water
- The use of modern methods in agricultural activities such as crop rotation, inter cropping, fallowing strips, contour ridging.
- Encouraging Afforestation and restricting deforestation 4. Excessive use of chemicals in the control of pests should also be discouraged.
- The government should Enact strict laws.