White Nile River Basin Expedition – Entebbe 3/27

Welcome to #3 in a series of blogs written by Alison Jones before her departure to Uganda and Kenya as NWNL’s lead photographer.

Gathering water from Lake Victoria

Gathering water from Lake Victoria

Date: Saturday, 27 March 2010 /Entry 3
Reporter: Alison M. Jones
Location: Entebbe

This morning, before a late afternoon flight to Lake Mburo, I will begin NWNL’s focus on the impacts of disease, human settlement and infrastructure here at the source of the Nile that thus affect one third of Africa’s populations residing in and depending on the natural resources of the Nile River Basin. Our research has shown that climate change, population growth, pollution and dams are currently threatening the natural resources and balance of this watershed. Nile watershed issues NWNL is studying here include:

– Forest and wetlands: The headwaters face deforestation, dams and increasing settlement.
– Lake Victoria: Pollution and invasive species threaten the livelihoods of 30 million lakeshore inhabitants.
– Climate change: Increases in floods and droughts are greatly impacting this watershed.

From the field: Entebbe’s Botanical Garden is a great introduction to indigenous flora and bird species in the White Nile River Basin.  I was as thrilled by the small, finch-like bronze mannequins as I was by a pair of great blue turacos flying over an umbrella tree. A recently painted sign at the entrance set the tone for visitors – and all of us around the world:

1. The human understanding is limited by the available knowledge.
2. Utilization of our biological resources is based on our understanding at a given time.
3. Therefore the search for more knowledge must continue so that we understand our biological resources better, thus utilize them optimally.
4. As we do search and utilize, let us conserve for the future. Who knows what? The future outlook may be different.

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