Item Details

Title: The wetlands of Lake Victoria, new approaches for understanding their regional and global importance

Date Published: 2003
Author/s: S. Loiselle, L. Bracchini, F. Kansiime, M.Ikiara, C. Perrings & C. Rossi
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks: WIT Press
Journal Publisher:
Affiliation: University of Siena, Department of Chemical and Biosystem Sciences,
Siena, Italy
2 Makerere University, Institute of Environment & Natural Resources,
Kampala, Uganda
3 Kenya Institute For Public Policy Research And Analysis, Nairobi,
4 Environmental Department, York University, Great Britain


Lake Victoria is the world's largest tropical lake and the second largest lake on
the planet. It has a surface area of 68,800 km2 and a catch of 284,000 km2. The
Lake Victoria shoreline of 3500 km is managed by three nations (Tanzania 49%,
Uganda 45% and Kenya 6%). Wetlands border much of the Lake, in particular in
the semiclosed bays that characterise much of the shoreline. These wetlands
provide fundamental services for the Lake ecosystem as well as the regional
population. The East African countries have one of the fastest growing
populations in the world, between 3 and 4% per annum. This has led to an
increasing stress on the resource quality and functioning. Proper wetland
functioning and ecotone maintenance has a direct role in the quality of life of the
regions populations as fish remains the least expensive and most common (70%)
source of dietary protein and most drinking water is often drawn directly from
the lake with little or no treatment. Additionally, the wetland provides a number
of important secondary income services both directly (tourism, transport,
vegetation harvesting) and indirect (climate control, ground water replenishing).