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Environmentalists Want Lake Bunyonyi Turned into Ramsar Site

They argue that by turning Lake Bunyonyi into a Ramsar site, it will help in protecting its nature and waterfowl habitat. They also say that its consideration into a Ramsar site will help in the promotion of tourism.
06 Mar 2020 12:15
Part of Lake Bunyonyi

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Leaders and environmentalists in Kabale and Rubanda districts are advocating for the transformation of Lake Bunyonyi and its basin into a Ramsar site.

A Ramsar Site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention that was established in 1971 during an intergovernmental environmental treaty by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 

They argue that by turning Lake Bunyonyi into a Ramsar site, it will help in protecting its nature and waterfowl habitat. They also say that its consideration into a Ramsar site will help in the promotion of tourism.

Achilles Byaruhanga, the Executive Director of Nature Uganda says that Lake Bunyonyi being the second deepest lake in Africa, it needs to be considered so that it can easily be marketed globally.

Byaruhanga says that turning Lake Bunyonyi into a Ramsar site will cause the government to put in place measures of conserving its nature since its initial depth of 900 metres has reduced by 1.2 metres due to silting.

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Rukiga

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Eng. Ivan Mbabazi Batuma, the proprietor of Bunyonyi Overland Resort and chairperson for Kigezi Tourism Cluster says that considering Lake Bunyonyi among Ramsar sites is long overdue.

He explains that this will help in marketing as well as attracting more tourists.

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Jane Amumpeire, the programs manager of Self Help Africa, a non-government organization advocating for the protection of Lake Bunyonyi says that as they push for a Ramsar site which will help in international branding, they are also strategizing in a process of branding it an eco-tourism conservation site.

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Pamela Katushabe, Rubanda district environment officer says they welcome the demands to turn the lake into a Ramsar site.  She says that after all the required steps are taken, they will forward the proposal to the National Ramsar Committee under the Ministry of Water and Environment for consideration.

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Records from Uganda Wildlife Authority indicates that Uganda currently has nine Ramsar sites that include; lake Mburo-nakivali wetland system in lake Mburo national park, Murchison falls-Albert delta wetland system in Murchison falls national park, Lake Bisina Wetland System, Lake Nakuwa Wetland System and Lake Opeta Wetland System in Eastern and Northeastern Uganda.

Others are surrounding Lake Victoria include; Sango Bay-Musambwa Island-Kagera Wetland System (SAMUKA), Nabajjuzi Wetland System, Lutembe Bay Wetland System and Mabamba Bay Wetland System

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