Perceived effects of human activities on Namiiro Wetland,Entebbe Municipality.
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Namiiro wetland is the largest in Entebbe Municipality, and has undergone significant degradation but no recent study has been carried out about the perceived effects of human activities on it. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to generate information on the current status and perceived effects of human activities on peri-urban wetlands. The study established current human activities, determined their perceived effects on the wetland’s ecosystem services and the level of community awareness regarding the relevant wetland policy and legislation. Qualitative and quantitative primary data were collected between December 2021 and January 2022, by administering semi structured questionnaires to 50 respondents that comprised of household heads living close to or within the wetland, in addition to direct observation and photography, and literature review for secondary data. Analysis of social demographic characteristics revealed that most respondents were; aged 26-35 (42%) had at most primary school education and farming (46%) was their major occupation. The currently predominant human activities according to 100% of the respondents were; soil filling with murram, construction debris or other soil, subsistence crop husbandry of coco yams and fishing. The ecosystem services perceived to be at most risk were; fresh water (52%), papyrus (54%) and pasture (48%), while there was generally low awareness about the National Policy for the Conservation and Management of Wetland Resources, 1995 (38%) and that of the National Environment Management Act, 2019 was slightly higher (54%).The radio was found to be the predominant source of information regarding the relevant wetland policy and legislation and by extension, natural resource management and conservation. This study will help local government authorities and central government agencies to inform decision making geared toward sensitization, law enforcement and wetland restoration activities. This study recommends further empirical research on the effects of some of the dominant human activities such as; soil filling and the extensive coco yam gardens that are gradually replacing wetland vegetation within the wetland, on its ecology.