Wetlands facing extinction
Wetlands are facing extinction despite their important role of filtering, retaining and controlling floods.
If anyone has a chance of fetching clean water from a lake, river or any other natural water body you should probably thank a wetland. Wetlands are like sieves that filter and purify water before sending it into water bodies.
Every 2nd of February the World celebrates Wetlands Day and a great opportunity to a reality check and learn about the value and importance of wetlands to people.
This was first celebrated in 1997, this day is intended to remind us of our commitments under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands which was adopted in 1971. Uganda is obliged to protect all its wetlands some of which have been approved as Ramsar sites. The 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals also provide us an opportunity to take care of our wetlands.
At individual and community level, we can become wetland ambassadors and work with family, friends and community members to conserve and restore wetlands and to create alternative sources of livelihoods than encroaching these wetlands.
Communities can lead efforts to check how wetlands are used in their local areas and participate in clearing the rubbish that is often dumped there as well as unblocking the streams from which they receive water.
National Environmental Management Authority should designate wetlands as protected areas, restore degraded wetlands, partner with local governments, civil society and communities around to create awareness about their importance and encourage both citizens and investors to adopt cross sectorial polices in education, housing, agriculture and industry that protect wetlands and promote green economic growth.
As custodians of the SDGs and citizens of Uganda, the Eco-Schools in Uganda in partnership with the communities around have taken several actions to save wetlands.