n Journal of Public Administration - Local governments and wetland conservation in Uganda : contributions and challenges

Volume 50, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Wetland resources in Uganda are estimated to occupy 10% of the total area of the country. The Government of Uganda is a signatory and a contracting party to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, which requires governments to conserve and sustainably use these resources. In order to ensure effective conservation of all environment resources, local governments were mandated to protect and regulate the environment resources within their jurisdiction. However, it has been observed that in districts such as Wakiso, most wetlands have been reclaimed and put under intensive cultivation, excavation and construction. They have been destroyed through the creation of farmlands, and mining of clay and sand for building and construction purposes. This paper seeks to examine the contribution of local governments in the conservation of wetlands in Uganda, using Wakiso District Local Government as a case study. The paper also aims at identifying the challenges faced by local governments in the management of these resources. The findings revealed the following contributions made by Wakiso local government in the conservation of wetlands: screening of development projects, training in natural resource management, community sensitisation, and establishment of wetland management committees, and the formation of wetland user groups. The challenges faced in the conservation of wetlands in Wakiso include the question of wetland ownership, policy failure, population pressure, and demand for agricultural land. The paper recommends the following strategies: strict enforcement of laws and policies, continuous environmental education at community level, vigorous appraisal of technical proposals on wetlands, harmonisation of the tenure system on wetlands, and demarcating of wetland.

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