The wetlands of Kusa, Koguta, Yala and Dunga have not always been as they are today. This is both in size and the amount of resources that they have, i.e the abundance and diversity of both flora and fauna. There has been seen to be a significant decline in these attributes over the last two decades.
In Yala swamp for instance, Balaeniceps rex, commonly known as the shoebill, is a bird that has completely been driven out of Yala swamp because of habitat destruction. This shows that the diversity of fauna in the swamp has been affected.
From the social survey that has been conducted in all the four wetlands, it is being reported that all the wetland areas have been experiencing a steady rise in wetland decline of between 2 to 6% per annum. Though this is just from the citizen science, GPS maps developed of the areas have been able to confirm the decline in the wetlands.
This decline has been attributed to the fact that these communities are poor and they depend majorly on the resources from the wetlands for their survival. There has also been an increase in population over the last couple of years and this has had the effect of not having enough land area to support this growing population. This has hence seen the community members to encroach into the wetland areas, majorly for settlement and farming.
We have set out to conduct mapping exercises and have a pictorial indication of how the wetlands looked in the past, how they are now and how the community anticipates them to look like in the next couple of years, if the goals of conservation, sustainability and wise use have been achieve.
We are doing this by involving local people in the respective wetland communities to help in gathering local knowledge of the past and present uses, issues and conditions of the wetlands.