Lake Nakuwa wetland system
The Nakuwa wetland system is in the eastern part of Uganda within Kaliro district. This is a permanent wetland and it is associated with quite a number of different satellite lakes as well as swamp system. Nakuwa wetland occupied by a really dense papyrus cover although in most parts, the swamp is broken apart by pools of water thereby forming clumps of floating papyrus, also called sudd.
Significance of Lake Nakuwa wetland to the communities
Fish in Nakuwa
Lake Nakuwa it’ self is one of the resourceful natural resources in this region. It is acts a safe haven to various fish species that have gotten extinct in many other big lakes. Fish is able to survive in this lake because of the protection they get from the kind of aquatic vegetation that surrounds this lake that prevents fish species like Nile perch from spreading all over the lake.
Local people do some fishing for their home consumption also small scale trading therefore the only potential threat that the fish species in this lake face includes human exploitation which include fishing ornamental fish that they export to other countries. Human activities have led to the degradation of various fish habitats that leading to the spread of Nile Perch fish at some point and the water weed/ hyacinth it is makes the water dirty and dark. In some parts of the lake, the Papyrus overly-harvested and in some parts there is a great deal of land reclamation in quest for land for agriculture and this has brought about a constant threat to the lake.
Besides the fish, this wetland is also source of raw materials like the papyrus that people use when making stuff like the mats, when they are thatching, and other crafts pieces like the hats, among others.
Wildlife in Nakuwa
This wetland is a home to the sitatunga antelope as this is one specific type of antelope that prefers to stay in wetlands which is why they are seen in places like this and Bigodi wetland near Kibale national park. There is also other aquatic animals like the Nile Crocodiles which are also commonly around this wetland system. Making it another perfect safari stop while in eastern Uganda.
Nakuwa wetland system is very important and plays a very vital role controlling and preventing floods. They help in the water purification as well as groundwater recharge. This system is perhaps one of the very few pristine wetlands left in the country and its still surviving perhaps because it is remotely located and the surrounding communities are sparsely populated.
Birds in Nakuwa wetland
Lake Nakuwa wetland used to be a home to the Grey crowned -crane, Uganda’s national bird ( Crested Crane) on the flags and also other migratory bird species. However these species have deteriorated due to human encroachment on the wetland to farm. In the one would see over 50 crested cranes in a day, however today even spotting one would be a problem. Because most of the wetland has been turned into rice fields. Therefore there is need to save Nakuwa wetland as a bird watching and wildlife spot in Uganda.