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Papyrus wetlands creation, a solution to improve food security and save Lake Victoria

Abstract

A demonstration project was set up to create two small papyrus wetlands in villages on the shores of Lake Victoria near Rubondo Island National Park, aimed at helping the community to replenish the fish stock in the lake and to improve socio-economics. The wetlands were constructed by using locally available means and they are owned and successfully managed by the villages to support community-based activities. We describe the approach, methodology and design of these plots. 2 years after the wetlands were created, the above-ground papyrus biomass was found to be comparable with that of pristine papyrus wetlands at Mlaga Bay in Rubondo Island National Park. Light trap data shows increased fish around the area. This correlated well with the results of questionnaire survey from the community around the created wetland. Our study shows that the degraded wetlands around Lake Victoria can be recreated by using locally available means, to restore most of the vital functions of those wetlands as they were before destruction, and improve the socio-economics of the local communities.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by Tanzania National Parks.

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Correspondence to Yustina Kiwango.

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Kiwango, Y., Moshi, G., Kibasa, W. et al. Papyrus wetlands creation, a solution to improve food security and save Lake Victoria. Wetlands Ecol Manage 21, 147–154 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-013-9286-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-013-9286-6

Keywords

  • Lake Victoria
  • Papyrus wetlands
  • Wetlands creation
  • Eutrophication
  • Tilapia fish
  • Socio-economics