Makanaga Wetland on Lake Victoria is a potential tourist Eco-system rich in both wetland flora and fauna.The vast wetland cuts across two districts; Wakiso and Mpigi who are entirely in charge of overseeing the environmental welfare of this wetland.
It’s however devastating to note that the poaching problem with in the wetland for mainly the Sitatungas and other wildlife has remained unsolved for a period of close to Ten years.
OJuwi James the deputy chairperson of Makanga Wetland Eco system Users Association says they have decried this vice to the offices in charge at Mpigi and Wakiso district but they have always been neglected. He explains that the poachers in the process of hunting for the Sitatungas set ablaze the wetland which affects other species especially the birds and a case in point the Shoe Bill bird that greatly attracts tourists even beyond the Ugandan boundary to this wetland.
“Our neighbors in Luwala village Kamengo sub county have done us a great disservice – they heavily poach the Sitatungas in the wetland and also affect the multiplication of the Shoe bills ,because when they burn the wetlands they kill the Shoe bill and also burn their eggs – we feel we have accommodated them enough and we are yet to take actions” noted Ojuwi.
The chairperson of Bussi sub county Stanley Kabuye added that tree cutting within the Makanaga wetland is another big problem that needs to be addressed because many tree dwelling birds are migrating, a thing that is affecting the tourism potential of the Eco-system.
Education officers from Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education -UWEC led by the Outreach officers Phillip Katabulawo and Otiti Richard in partnership with different stakeholders from Local council leadership with in Mpigi and Wakiso, Makanaga Wetland Eco-system Users Association and other government agencies have made a move to breath in some new life in Makanga in line with promoting Eco-tourism.
Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center’s move to promote Eco-tourism in Makanaga was in 2013/14 and this set the pace till now.
Phillip Katabulawo notes that there should be value addition to the tourism services being offered currently with in Makanga so as to yield more funds and for the general well being of the residents that directly or indirectly tap into the tourism activities in this area.
” We need to make sure that Makanaga is a one stop shop center for a tourist – we have to think about establishing Eco-tourism projects such as hotels, shopping malls to mention but afew,so that a tourist be held in Makanaga for more than one day” explains Katabulawo.
UWEC and its partners are drafting plans to make Makanaga a standard Eco-tourism site.The site harbors more than 150 bird species, different reptiles and wetland mammals.