Lake Wamala

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Lake Wamala
Location Mityana District, Uganda
Coordinates 00°19′42″N 31°50′26″E / 0.32833°N 31.84056°E / 0.32833; 31.84056Coordinates: 00°19′42″N 31°50′26″E / 0.32833°N 31.84056°E / 0.32833; 31.84056
Primary inflows River Nyanzi
River Kitenga
River Kabasuma
River Mpamujugu
River Bimbye
Primary outflows Kibimba River
Basin countries Uganda
Surface area 250 km2 (97 sq mi)
Surface elevation 1,290 m (4,230 ft)
Islands Lwanja Island
Mabo Island
Bagwe Island
Settlements Mityana, Uganda

Lake Wamala is a small freshwater lake in Uganda.

Location[edit]

The lake is located in the districts of Mubende, Mityana and Mpigi in Central Uganda. The road distance between downtown Mityana and Lake Wamala is approximately 20 kilometres (12 mi).[1]

Overview[edit]

Lake Wamala covers an area of approximately 250 square kilometres (97 sq mi). It is dotted by many islands including Lwanju Island, Mabo Island, and Bagwe Island, Kiraza, Kazinga, among others. The lake is associated with several rivers and wetlands. Several rivers flow into the lake, including the following: (a) River Nyanzi (b) River Kitenga (c) River Kaabasuma (d) River Mpamujugu and (e) River Bbimbye. Lake Wamala is drained by the Kibimba River into the Katonga River, which in turn drains into Lake Victoria. However, the Kibimba River is highly seasonal, and for much of the time its course remains essentially dry.[2] Lake Wamala is of significant economic and cultural interest locally, and is jointly administered by the districts of Mubende, Mityana and Mpigi, each of which share a part of the lake along common borders.

History[edit]

More than 4,000 years ago Lake Wamala was part of Lake Victoria, but has since receded into its current state. One apocryphal myth supposes that Lake Wamala derives its name from King “Wamala”, the last monarch of the Bachwezi dynasty. According to this legend King Wamala disappeared into Lake Wamala at a site near Lubajja fishing village called Nakyegalika and his spirit resides in the lake.[3] The lake is of traditional and cultural significance to the people of Buganda in Central Uganda.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The vegetation surrounding Lake Wamala is dominated by papyrus, other spectacular floaters and water based vegetation. There are also trees such as Raphia and other palms. There exist remnants of a variety of animal species such as sitatunga, wild pigs, hippopotamus, bushbuck, waterbuck, vervet monkey, baboon and a variety of birds such as guinea fowl and turaco. A diversity of water based birds are visible in the remaining wetlands. Existing fish species include tilapia, catfish and lungfish.[4]

Fishing patterns[edit]

During the 1960s and the early 1970s, Lake Wamala was an important source of both fresh and smoked fish sold locally and in the big towns in Central Uganda. Due to mismanagement and uncontrolled, unregulated commercial fishing on the lake, the fish were depleted in the mid-1970s.[5]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Road Distance Between Mityana And Lake Wamala With MAP". Globefeed.com. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Ramsar. "Uganda Wetlands Information". pp. 16–17. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  3. ^ GNF, . "Global Nature Fund: Lake Wamala - Uganda". Global Nature Fund (GNF). Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  4. ^ GNF, . "The Flora And Fauna of Lake Wamala". Global Nature Fund (GNF). 
  5. ^ FAO, . (May 1990). "The Mismanagement of Lake Wamala's Fish Resources". Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Retrieved 22 July 2014.