The effects of the wetland policy on wetland conservation and peoples’ household incomes in Kabale District.
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This study aimed at establishing why wetland degradation persists and recommends various strategies in wetland policy implementation and for conservation. The specific objectives were to assess local peoples’ attitudes and perceptions of wetlands and wetland conservation, assess the level of illegal activities that are still being carried out in wetlands and lastly to identify and assess the contribution of wetland management programs in improving people’s household incomes. The methodology adopted a cross-sectional research design with qualitative and quantitative approaches. The cross-sectional design targeted 120 respondents distributed as 100 residents and 20 opinion leaders (Wetlands Inspection Division-WID, National Environment Management Authority- NEMA and Local Environment Committee Officials) in Kabale District. Primary quantitative data was collected using a questionnaire survey while qualitative data was obtained through interviewing key informants, observation, and photography. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel and presented using frequency tables, percentages and tabulations. From here descriptive statistics were obtained to make inference about the data. The results from the study indicated out of the 20 sub counties of Kabale district, only 7 sub counties had wetlands left. Fifty three percent (53%) of the respondents had attitudes and perceptions favourable to wetlands and wetland conservation while 41% of the respondents’ attitudes were still unfavourable to wetland conservation. Burning was the most notorious illegal activity facing most wetlands as suggested by 57 % of the respondents. This is closely followed by the hunting at 20 % since wetlands are the only source of free meat according to the respondents. For household incomes from wetlands, 22% of the respondents don’t get any money at all from wetland while 43% get between 10,000-100,000 Ug shs per year. However 20% get between 100,001-200,000 Ug Shs while 12% of the respondents get between 200,001up to above 1m Ushs.
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