World Migratory Bird day celebrations in Kasese District, Uganda
On 10th May 2014 a group of conservation organizations gathered at the Katwe Eco-tourism centre (KATIC) ground in Katwe-Kabatooro town council, Kasese District Uganda to mark the World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD). The event was attended by members of Local Conservation Groups, namely, Mabamba Wetland Eco-tourism Association and Lutembe Wetland Users Association as well as government agencies such as the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities and Uganda Wildlife Authority. Non Governmental Organsations were represented by Nature Uganda and the Uganda Wildlife Society. These groups came together to highlight the contribution of birds and avi-tourism (tourism from birds) to the economic development of Kabatooro town council, Uganda.
The event kicked off with a nature walk to Lake Munyanyange where 78 bird migratory bird species were recorded including the Lesser Flamingo Phoeniconaias minor, Ruff Philomachus pugnax, Little Stint Calidris minuta, Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea and Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus. This was followed by an exercise dubbed “Keep Katwe Clean”. It involved cleaning Katwe-Kabatoro town and the area around Katwe Salt Lake. The exercise was aimed at raising awareness on solid waste management as a means of maintaining the integrity of sites used by migratory birds. Sanitary equipment was distributed to two Katwe community groups and five schools in Katwe-Kabatooro town council. The event was spiced up with songs and poems from Kanyiginya Drama Actors – a local performance group that treats visitors to vibrant music and drama performances at KATIC.
The event was co-organized by Nature Uganda (BirdLife Partner in Uganda), Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda Wildlife Society and KATIC. World Migratory Bird Day was initiated in 2006 and is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. This year’s theme was ‘Destination Flyways: Migratory Birds and Tourism’. For more information see www.worldmigratorybirdday.org
Story by Dianah Nalwanga/Nature Uganda and Olivia Adhiambo/BirdLife International