Effects of wetland reclamation on the socio-economic welfare of the households around Lubigi wetland
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Wetlands are critical natural resources that serve numerous purposes including environmental, hydrological and socio-economic functions. However, these wetlands are so fragile and have suffered deterioration due to human activities such as cultivation, grazing, water abstraction/harvest among others. Several studies have studied the effects of wetland reclamation on people’s livelihoods but these studies do not have information on the different wetland reclamation activities, ways in which the wetlands are conserved and managed. In this study, the different reclamation practices practiced by households were identified using observation and interviews with different households around the wetland, their effect on household income and how the households conserve the wetland. Questionnaire surveys, interviews and field observations were used to collect data. Purposive sampling was applied to choose the villages; Busega, Masanafu, Nansana and Gganda in which to collect the data and random sampling was used to choose the households from which information was collected. Data were analyzed using chi-square test and Kruskal-Wallis H Test there are several reclamation activities such as papyrus harvest, tree growing, water harvest, cattle grazing, waste disposal, settlement, water abstraction in Lubigi wetland which have resulted in the alteration of functions of the wetland. Results implied no significant association between reclamation and household income however there are details that imply a relationship with specific socio-economic characteristics. The present study recommends that there be interference by the government to reinforce environmental laws to protect the wetland and also create alternative income sources to reduce the reclamation of wetlands by the locals for their livelihood and encourage sustainable use of wetland resources.
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