Lake Wamala

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Lake Wamala
Location Mityana District, Uganda
Coordinates 00°20′44″N 31°53′16″E / 0.34556°N 31.88778°E / 0.34556; 31.88778Coordinates: 00°20′44″N 31°53′16″E / 0.34556°N 31.88778°E / 0.34556; 31.88778
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 Kalyankoko
Mityana District

Lake Wamala is a freshwater lake in Uganda.[1] Its wetlands contain endangered species of birds and animals including the sitatunga ("enjobe" in Luganda).[2] The lake is of traditional and cultural significance to the people of Buganda in Central Uganda.[3]


The lake is shared by the districts of Mubende, Mityana, and Gomba in the Central Region of Uganda. The road distance between downtown Mityana and Kalyankoko, Kimuli, Mityana District, on the eastern shores of Lake Wamala is approximately 17 kilometres (11 mi).[4] The coordinates of Lake Wamala are 0°20'44.0"N, 31°53'16.0"E (Latitude:0.345545; Longitude:31.887778).[5]


Lake Wamala covers an area of approximately 250 square kilometres (97 sq mi).[3] It is dotted by many islands, including Lwanju Island, Mabo Island, and Bagwe Island, Kiraza, Kazinga, among others. Several rivers flow into the lake, including the River Nyanzi, the River Kitenga, the River Kaabasuma, the River Mpamujugu, and the River Bbimbye. The lake is drained by the Kibimba River into the Katonga River, which in turn drains into Lake Victoria. The Kibimba River, however, is highly seasonal and for much of the time its course remains essentially dry. 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.[2]


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 a King Wamala, the last monarch of the Bachwezi dynasty and that King Wamala disappeared into the lake at a site near Lubajja fishing village called Nakyegalika and his spirit resides in the lake.[3]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The vegetation surrounding Lake Wamala is dominated by papyrus, other floaters, and water-based vegetation. There are also trees such as Raphia and other palms. A variety of animal species such as sitatunga, wild pigs, hippopotamus, bushbuck, waterbuck, vervet monkey, baboon, guinea fowl, and turaco live near the lake. Existing fish species include tilapia, catfish, and lungfish.[3]

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.[6] Climate change has also worsened the lake conditions, to the detriment of the local fishermen and their families.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lanyero, Flavia (20 September 2013). "Lake Wamala in danger as boundaries are sold off". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Tenywa, Gerald (2 May 2005). "Local green sites to get global status". New Vision. Kampala. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d GNF (29 October 2016). "Global Nature Fund: Lake Wamala - Uganda". Global Nature Fund (GNF). Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  4. ^ (29 October 2016). "Distance between Mityana, Central Region, Uganda and Kalyankoko, Kimuli, Central Region, Uganda". Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Google (29 October 2016). "Location of Lake Wamala, Central Region, Uganda" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  6. ^ FAO (May 1990). "The Mismanagement of Lake Wamala's Fish Resources". Rome, Italy: Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Musinguzi, L., Efitre, J., Odongkara, K.; et al. (21 July 2015). "Fishers' perceptions of climate change, impacts on their livelihoods and adaptation strategies in environmental change hotspots: a case of Lake Wamala, Uganda". Environment, Development and Sustainability, August 2016, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1255–1273. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 

External links[edit]