Wetlands Management Department (WMD) is mandated to manage wetland resources and its goal is to sustain the biophysical and socio-economic values of the wetlands in Uganda for present and future generations. According to the wetland mapping exercise of 2008, wetland resources were noted to have reduced from 15% in 1994 to 10.9% of Uganda's area. Wetlands are a source of livelihood to the majority of Ugandans and hence directly contribute to National Development plan, vision 2040 and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. However, wetlands are under a lot of pressure from conversion for industrial development, settlements, agriculture, sand and clay mining. Most of these degrading activities are perceived to be of greater importance than wetland conservation itself.
WMD has over the years built the capacity of Local Governments to assess wetland resources, plan and implement activities for their proper management. In 1993, the National Wetlands Programme (now the Wetlands Management Department) together with the Local governments successfully carried out an inventory of wetlands in the country with the exception of 5 districts namely Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Bundibugyo and Kotido which were by then under insurgency. The inventory exercise was to provide an overview of wetland resources, their values, threats and possible management options. This information formed the basis for development of District Wetland Action plans that feed into District Development Plans.
The data collected through this exercise is currently stored in the National Wetlands Information System (NWIS) at the Wetland Management Department. With the technical support from the then National Wetlands Programme, the data was further synthesised and compiled into District Wetland Inventory Reports (DWIRs) which are now going to be disseminated through the Ministry of Water and Environment website. Except for the DWIRs of Bushenyi, Iganga, Kabale, Kampala, Kisoro, Masaka, Mpigi, Ntungamu, Palisa, and Rukungiri the other reports lack area coverage of wetlands and hence are still in draft form.
Important to note however is that, all the district wetland inventories are due to be updated so that there is current information for use in planning, decision making, development of district wetland action plans and management plans. Download files on wetlands here !!