Lake Naguwa

Public Forest/Natural Area


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This site, the Nakuwa area, is in the south-eastern part of the Kyoga system, which is an important natural water reservoir for the Nile. It includes Lakes Nawampasa, Budipa, Nkodokodo and Murlu, as well as swamps in the east, and the northern swamps of Lakes Nakuwa and Kyebiseke. The swamps are predominantly dense papyrus Cyperus papyrus, broken in parts by pools of water forming sudds (clumps of floating papyrus). Sometimes these sudds open up completely, forming small lakes. Some lakes, like Nawampasa, are very shallow and covered by water-lilies Nymphaea, with short sedges (dominated by Cyperus) occupying the drier parts of the fringing papyrus swamp. These shallow areas are important for both waterbirds and surrounding fishing communities

Lake Nakuwa Wetland System is an important Bird Area. A permanent wetland associated with a number of satellite lakes and a swamp system dominated by dense papyrus, broken in parts by pools of water-forming sudds (clumps of floating papyrus). In addition to supporting the Sitatunga and the Nile Crocodile, the system and its satellite lakes contain the most diverse cichlid species assemblage and are a haven for a number of non-cichlid species no longer found in the large lakes of Kyoga and Victoria. The system provides refuge to fish taxa that have been reported extinct in the main lakes, thanks to the protection accorded by the aquatic vegetation around the lakes, which prevented the Nile perch from spreading there. The wetland also plays an important role in flood prevention, water purification and groundwater recharge. It is probably one of the remaining pristine wetland areas in Uganda due to its remoteness and sparse population in the immediate catchment, and it offers employment to a number of fishermen. The papyrus is used for making mats, thatching, and crafts. The potential threats to fish species diversity include human exploitation, collection of ornamental fish for export, degradation of the fish habitat, spread of the Nile Perch, and water hyacinth. Papyrus over-harvesting and land reclamation for agriculture also constitute a threat. Ramsar site no. 1635. Most recent RIS information: 2006.


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