World Wetlands Day recognizes and celebrates the importance of wetlands to the world and the diversity of life they support. It is observed on February 2 since it is the date when the Convention for Wetlands was adopted in Ramsar.
Wetlands are one of the most underrated ecosystems yet they have a lot of biodiversity, support numerous animals, birds and plants. In Uganda, wetlands protect an abundance of flora and Fauna for example the Mabamba Swamp is famous for the Shoebill, a bird that is highly sought after by birders.
Wetlands are areas that are flooded with water for the majority of the year and they perform a number of vital functions for the land. They are the main source of ground water refills and help to purify it, they are the first line of defense against storms and floods as well as home to unique plants, reptiles, fish, mammals and birds.
In our communities, wetlands provide natural water sources for communities that live around them, they are used for agriculture especially for crops that require a lot of water such as rice and the papyrus plants provide an income to families that harvest them to make brooms, mats among others.
Wetlands are extremely ecologically sensitive; any slight environmental and climatic changes affect them and this is hazardous to the life that is dependent on them too. This year’s theme is Wetlands Restoration; there is an urgent need to prioritize the theme.
Ssamba Foundation in its bid to restore some of the wetlands in the communities we work in has constructed boreholes to limit people from going into the wetlands for water and in the end encroaching on them and sensitized the communities on the benefits of having wetlands around.
2nd – February- 2023