The cost of poor land use practices in Lake Nakivale Wetland in Isingiro District, Uganda
The land use practices around Lake Nakivale Wetland have over the last five decades changed from dominantly cattle keeping to crop farming, human settlement and urbanisation. This change, has increased food production and security, it has come at a cost to the natural environment in form of land degradation, wetland encroachment, loss of wildlife habitats and crucial wetland resources. Based on a research conducted in Lake Nakivale Wetland in Isingiro District in Uganda, this paper assessed the cost residents incur as wetland resources experience external disturbances from poor land use practices. Collection of data involved a household survey, interviews, focused group discussions and wetland resource ranking. The impact analysis approach was used to estimate the value of the affected wetland resources. This was based on the market price and the concept of willingness to either pay or accept compensation for wetland resources. The findings indicate that cost of poor land use practices on vital wetland resources is enormous, estimated to be worth US $ 2,943,960.3 per annum and is expected to continue to increase in the future, putting the livelihoods of residents in dilemma. Sustainable land use management based on sound land use planning and restoration program is proposed to minimise the negative effects of land use on the wetland.
Key words: Land use practices, wetland resources, livelihoods, sustainable land use management, land use planning, wetland resource value.