Mamamba Wetland System

Mamamba Wetland System

Public Forest/Natural Area


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Mabamba Bay Wetland System. 15/09/06; Wakiso, Mpigi; 2,424 ha; 00°07'N 032°21'E. Important Bird Area. An extensive marsh stretching through a narrow and long bay fringed with papyrus towards the main body of Lake Victoria - the only swamp close to Kampala where one can easily find the globally-threatened Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex). The site supports an average of close to 190,000 birds and is part of the wetland system which hosts approximately 38% of the global population of the Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea), as well as the globally-threatened Papyrus Yellow Warbler and other birds of global conservation concern. The site supports a lucrative fisheries activity and is a source of fish for home consumption and commercial use, as well as of raw material for local crafts, building materials, water for domestic and livestock use, and non-wood products. Factors needing attention are the dry season incursion into the swamp by fishermen; hunting of the Sitatunga by local people; the proliferation of the Water Hyacinth; and the poaching of Shoebill. The proliferation of flower farms along the shores of Lake Victoria and the use of agrochemicals is likely to have an impact. NatureUganda spearheaded the development of a National Important Bird Areas Conservation Strategy (NIBACS) that highlights measures and strategies for the conservation of the Bay. Ramsar site no. 1638. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Wetland ecosystems not only generate valuable goods and services but also give rise to economic costs which include among others expenditures on the physical inputs associated with resource and ecosystem management, opportunity costs and economic losses to local communities arising from crop raiding wild animals. The establishment of protected areas precludes land and resource uses. Protected areas such as wetlands permit restricted resource utilization, and wholly prevent cultivation and grazing. Either of these losses represents the opportunity cost of biodiversity
conservation in terms of economic activities (such as agriculture) foregone.
In the light of this, a study was undertaken to assess the present economic value of Mabamba Bay wetland system of international importance, Wakiso district, Uganda.

The study was done between October – December 2008. The main objectives of the study were: to assess the annual Total Economic Value (TEV) of Mabamba Bay wetland system; and to determine the distribution of costs arising from wetland conservation and management. As part of achieving those objectives, a household survey using stratified random sampling technique was carried out in 5 parishes surrounding Mabamba Bay wetland. Only heads of households were targeted in face to face interviews. A total of 320 households (representative sample of 3,777 households) were randomly interviewed. Other data collection methods included evaluation of relevant secondary data in the field of environmental economics, face to face discussions with stakeholders, focus group discussions and Benefit Transfer Method.


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