Human activities and awareness of policy by local communities adjacent to Nabajuzi Wetland in Masaka District, Uganda.
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This study investigated the human activities taking place in Nabajuzi wetland in Masaka district. The objectives of this study were to find out the human activities carried out with in Nabajuzi wetland, the awareness on policies and legislations on wetlands in Nabajuzi district and the effect of human activities on the wetland. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection, simple random sampling was used to draw a sample from residents operating and living in and around the wetland. Interviews, questionnaires (both open ended and close ended questions), observation, photography and review of relevant literature were used to gather data. Quantitative data was analyzed with aid of statistical package for social scientists (SPSS). Simple descriptive statistics such as percentages and frequencies were used to determine correlation of data variables. The results showed that; agriculture, brick making, sand mining and crafts were the major human activities taking place within Nabajuzi wetland with agriculture taking the lead at 55%. The results further showed that human activities were resulting in negative effects on Nabajuzi wetland. In particular, the results singled out extraction of clay for brick making, encroachment for agricultural activities and sand mining as the main human activities contributing negatively’ to harmony and co-existence between the community, biodiversity and Nabajuzi wetland natural resource. It was concluded that human activities had led to environmental degradation and this according to the study was due to a gap in law enforcement and lack of alternative sources of income among the people, the study showed that there’s considerable awareness on wetland policies. However, more sensitization needs to be provided so that alternative trees are planted instead of eucalyptus. The individuals with lack of information and awareness about the values, uses and guidelines for wise of the wetland should be involved using different approaches that can be deemed fit by the local government, it also recommended that new activities that do not harm the wetland but instead make the wetland economically viable such as fish farming be introduced. The study also recommends that suitable guidelines should be framed to streamline the sand and brick clay mining in the wetland on an eco-friendly basis.