Uganda: Dams to save Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park (LMNP) located at the Masaka and Mbarara highway is one place visitors can see zebras. Last year more than 50 carcasses, were counted, as the sun heat blazed there. But the situation is ably being addressed to salvage the stressed natural victims there.

“This heat is an effect of the ongoing dry spell which is having a devastating effect on part of Kiruhura district,” observed Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) director of planning Edgar Byaruhanga. “We receive about 20,000 tourists annually.”

The dam under construction will save wild animals there that comprise; Zebra, Impalas, Buffalos, Impala, Oribi and Waterbucks. The vegetation is mainly savanna with scattered acacia trees. As the five lakes there are populated by crocodiles and hippos. The swamps are homes for statungas antelopes and gonaleks.

Byaruhanga put the blame on the changing weather conditions, the effect of global climate.

“The parks location in the dry corridor means we will always have long dry seasons,” pointed out Byaruhanga when asked about mitigation. “A pilot dams is already being put in place. We are considering the possibilities of drawing water by saving rain water and drawing some from Lake Mburo.”

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The other solution to salvage the park is to interest the communities in the park in conserving the wealth of nature in their midst. People are ready to pay huge sums of money to see these mammals, primates, birds and reptiles in their natural habitat.

A game drive in the park revealed a thick cloud of dust left behind sending the animals sprinting away with fright. On the ground, stressed snakes writhe in the dry grass in search of water and food. Birds there still flap their wings. Colorful butterflies display vibrant colors and sip scarce pollen. Monkeys hop from one tree branch to another.



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