Masaka City Ride in Commemoration of World Wetlands Day 2022

In Commemoration of urban Wetlands in Masaka City

Every 2nd day of February, the World Wetlands Day is celebrated, to mark the date of the adoption of the convention on Wetlands in the city of Ramsar in Iran, in 1971.

In Uganda, the day will be commemorated in Masaka City, central region, west of Lake Victoria and is aimed at raising awareness about the vital role of wetlands for the people and the planet. The global theme is WETLANDS ACTIONS FOR PEOPLE AND NATURE.

Wetlands are considered an excellent natural resource and a critical part of the natural environment, that offer a wide range of ecosystem services. In particular, Urban wetlands contribute to the livability of cities through improving the water quality, carbon sequestration in peatland areas, providing habitats for biodiversity for animals and species. Wetlands are helpful in balancing the micro climate by reducing the effects of urban heat islands, and creating recreation opportunities.  Wetlands’ economic contribution to national and local economies include producing resources such as food and craft materials that enable recreational activities, as well as providing other benefits, such as pollution control and flood protection. –

Wetlands situated in urban areas are a fundamental element of an urban ecosystem similar to forests to human ecosystems.  The benefits of urban wetlands cannot be underscored because they improve water quality in rivers and streams further downstream, and have considerable value as filters for drinking water critical for urban residents.

Unfortunately  maintaining wetlands in urban areas remains a challenge to the authorities because of the numerous threats to the environment including the reduction in hydrological functions, changes in water regimes due to barriers resulting from the construction of roads, contamination by wastewater from industries and residential areas, habitat loss due to land-use change, and loss of biodiversity due to the entry of alien species, all of which is  associated with rapid urbanization trends estimated at 5.7% per annum in Uganda.

In collaboration with TEENS Uganda a youth organization focused on promotion of the value of cities and communities through greening urban mobility, conservation of open spaces and protection green buffer zones, there was to contribute to the day’s celebrations, with activities for active mobility (Cycling in the city).  A team from MLHUD (Urban Development), MoWE (Wetlands Department), NEMA, NWSC and Masaka City (both the political and Technical team) participated in the pre-event activities and the official celebration day, in support of the commemoration of World Wetlands day.

 

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