Lake Wamala Uganda
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Lake Wamala is among the fresh water bodies that are situated in central Uganda. The lake covers an area of about 250 square kilometers and it is relatively tidal with about 1.5m-4.5m depth. Due to the climate changes, human encroachment, the lake is at the edge of extinction. Lake Wamala is shared by Mityana, Mubende and Gomba.
On the buffer zones of the lake there is massive cultivation of the land for agriculture, it has floating vegetation and it home to rare endangered bird species. You will encounter with farmlands of tomato gardens, Eucalyptus plantations, rice gardens in the surrounding areas of the lake.
Besides the rare bird species, the lake harbors a few critically endangered species of fish such as Oreochromis esculentus, Oreochromis Variabilis and labeo Victorinus. Lake is significant place for culture and ecology. The lake has been declared a ramsar site.
Lake Wamala is under a high threat due to the growing population of people in the nearby communities close to the lake. This has led to deforestation so as to acquire land for both agriculture and settlement. The deforestation practices have increased the rate of deforestation as well in siltation in the lake plus the flowing rivers.
The fresh water quality has also reduced due to the high rate of population and disposal of waste such as domestic waste litters from the communities, as well as poor practice of agriculture such as applying of chemicals which end up flowing in the lake and river.
Originally fishing was the main source of survival to the local community but due to over fishing the fish declined thus the fish stocks have reduced apparently.
There are several conservation bodies that have decided to volunteer in protecting of Lake Wamala such as Coalition for sustainable Development USCSD and KEA-Kikandwa Environmental Association. The conservation organization have been significant in carrying out awareness, Educating the local community about the importance of the lake, carrying sensitization campaigns, supporting the community forestry projects, assisting in sustainable wetland management, consistent water quality assessment.
However there is need for an integrated management plan for the fast and immediate change of Lake Wamala which is a recognized Ramsar site in Uganda. The lake is one of the tourism potential attraction and source of generating income activities like fishing to the local communities.
Historically Lake Wamala was a portion of Lake Victoria but it has been retreated into its current state. The lake is dotted with numerous islands such as Rwanju Island, kiraza, Mabo, Kazinga, Bagwe Island among others. It has several inflows of rivers such as river mpamujugu, kaabasuma and Kitenga River. Lake Wamala is drained by Kibimba River but it is a season river which often dries off in the dry season.
Wildlife at Lake Wamala
The Lake is dominated by the surrounding vegetation which is the floating papyrus as well as the water based vegetation. There are other trees such as palm trees and Raphia trees. You will encounter with a diversity of wildlife such as the situanga antelopes, the hippos, waterbucks, crocodiles, bushbucks, wild pigs, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, guinea fowl as well as the Turaco. The various types of fish species found in the lake include; Tilapia, Lungfish and catfish.
Lake Wamala was named so due the Bachwezi king called Wamala who disappeared into the lake close to the Lubajja fishing village. king Wamala was last monarch of the Bachwezi dynasty.