Assessment of community participation in sustainable management of Nyabugogo and Nyabarongo wetlands, Kigali city

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Kampala International University, School of Natural and applied siences
This study evaluated the extent of community participation in sustainable wetland management in Kigali City. The aim of the study was to establish the contribution of different stakeholders in sustainable wetland management, to identify the use of indigenous knowledge in wetland management and public awareness of existing management system and practices. The study compared the difference between wetland sites with active community participation and wetland sites without community participation, in Kigali City, in assessing water quality by measuring selected physical, chemical and biological parameters in Nyabugogo and Nyabarongo wetlands. The parameters covered were Temperature, Electric Conductivity, pH, Turbidity, Chemical Oxygen Demand, Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Total Dissolved Solids, Total Suspended Solids, Ammonia, Phosphates, oil and grease, Sulfides, Lead, Chromium, Iron, Lead, Nickel, Zinc, Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, Benzene and fecal coliforms. The water samples were collected, preserved and analyzed in the laboratory using standard methods. Water quality analysis revealed that both wetlands have different concentration of heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb), Phosphates, Ammonia, oil and grease. The survey results revealed that local people have traditional knowledge to conserve and use wetland resources, but indigenous knowledge have also limitations due to their beliefs and mindset that can lead to wetland degradation. Though farmers have sufficient knowledge on the causes and the potential solutions to overcome most constraints related to agricultural management, some local farmers invade wetlands during dry season using unsustainable practices for the growing of crops (use of agro-chemicals in vegetables). Farmers of highlands in northern part of Rwanda used traditional knowledge to predict rain season and drought through observing humidity in the pot-like dish inserted into the ground, water level increase in the pot indicate the onset of appropriate season for fanning. Wetlands of this region (Rugezi in Bulera district) are sources of major rivers and contain higher amount of vegetation. The drainage of these swamps may lead to drought in downstream or other forms of imbalance in the environment like increased erosion or disruption of the climate. Wetland sedges provide critical areas for livestock grazing, especially during the dry season. Raised beds for agri-pisciculture have been implemented and have proved to be sustainable and effective. Farmers use farmyard manure and compost to increase soil fertility, believe that chemical fertilizers decrease soil fertility and then match cropping systems with soil type.
A Dissertation presented to the College of Higher Degrees and Research Kampala International University, Uganda in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of a Degree of Masters of Science in Environmental Management and Development
Community participation, Sustainable management, Nyabugogo and Nyabarongo wetlands, Kigali city