Keeping Water in the Rwambu Wetland Landscape, Uganda
The seven #NatureForAll strategies offer solutions to a worldwide problem of disconnection from nature. They have been developed based on recommendations received from the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress and the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, and advice from #NatureForAll partners worldwide. They will continue to evolve over time. Not every strategy may be applicable in every situation, so our partners choose the one(s) that work best in their local context
The area had waterborne diseases, crop failures, soil degradation, deforestation, deteriorating wetlands, and water shortages. These issues had been seen as separate, but tracing them back to wetlands management and agricultural expansion presented an opportunity to plan a combined approach that served nature and people.
What Strategies Contributed to your Success?
Strategy 6: Seek out Diverse Partnerships
We involved all stakeholders, including vulnerable communities. Our local partner Joint Effort to Save the Environment (JESE) worked with farmers to map out the land and water usage, and large groups came together to build stone bunds and trenches on slopes and to plant trees, both of which helped slow down water, allowing it to sink and replenish underground reserves, and have reduced soil erosion. By being part of both design and implementation, different community members increased ownership and engagement in the initiative.
2,700 residents benefit from the changes including:
Crop yield increased
Water is now staying in the landscape, and the water table is rising, so shallow wells are once again delivering water
The wetlands have been zoned, providing access to medicinal plants, reeds, fish, and cattle grazing in the areas where each is most sustainable
The wetland is growing and native species are returning
Functional latrines have been built that will not contaminate the present water sources
Think with the landscape, use nature as your guide.
Engage with the people who know how the landscape used to be, who know how it is, and who want to continue using it.
Train them in the sustainable natural resource management.
Map not just the area but the natural conditions, how rain falls and water flows.