Wetland resource use and conservation practices by the local communities in Kanyum and Nyero Sub-Counties, Kumi District.
Ikanut, Michael Benard
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Wetland resources use and conservation by the local communities of Kanyum and Nyero sub-counties in Kumi district was assessed between May and August, 2007. The objectives were to (i) identify and document different wetland resource user-groups in the study area, (ii) assess the socio-economic and environmental benefits of the wetlands to the local communities, (iii) find out the current community-based wetland conservation practices and the local wetland resource users’ attitudes, and (iv) assess the opportunities and constraints to community-based wetland use and management. Questionnaire interviews were used to collect data. It was found that there were 11 wetland resource user-groups. Local people depended on wetlands mainly for water, livestock grazing and cultivation as domestic uses. Weather modification was an important environmental benefit of wetlands to the local communities. Attitudes of the local communities towards use, conservation and ownersPassing of byelaws on wetland management was considered an important existing community-based wetland management practice. Although existence of local leaders was considered an opportunity for sustainable community-based wetland use and management by the local people, unofficial private wetland ownership and weak law enforcement were the main constraints to community-based wetland conservation in Kanyum and Nyero sub-counties. Use and conservation of wetlands by the local communities in the study area was unsustainable. It is recommended that Government should review existing laws on wetland management and local people through traditional clan leaders, elders and chiefs should be involved in wetland management.