Nature Uganda: Musambwa Islands Conservation Project - Project Achievements

The number of Grey Headed gulls (GHGs) increased from 58,010 in January 2007 to 98,910 in July 2007 (after the breeding season) from the bi-annual bird counts which indicates a 48.5% increase from Jan 2007. This achievement was due to the tireless effort and monitoring of the Site support groups and changed attitude of 98% of the community members towards biodiversity on the island.The bye-law formulated in the first phase and popularised among the wider community also played a major role in achieving these successes.

The SSGs have been trained in various fields including management skills, planning, book keeping and monitoring of birds and other bio-diversity on the island. Capacity building sessions were also conducted in book keeping, management and planning, saving techniques, customer care, tourism development and marketing which has tremendously shaped their way of life and the way they conduct business. Site Support Groups have been trained in various Income Generating Activities (IGAs) like crafts and sustainable organic farming ,Vegetable farming, training for the Magango women’s group, poultry farming training for the Kasensero SSG, Tree planting for the Musambwa island SSG, Bee keeping for the Dimo SSG. 

These activities are seen as an avenue of improving livelihoods of the people. Therefore from the savings made by the Magango women’s group from crafts, they managed to open up a bank account and purchased two shares in this bank. They managed to save up to 250,000 on their bank account and they have instituted a mandatory 500 shs every week in order to start up other IGAs. This can be attributed to the enhanced group dynamics, trainings, cross exchange visits and brain storming sessions from various meetings during the project. 

Improved sanitation on the island has been achieved in that members are constantly using the Ecological sanitation facility (ECOSAN) and now we record 100% usage of it.A weekly mandatory general island cleaning has been instituted, and buckets placed at strategic positions on the island for depositing various non-bio degradable substances especially polythene bags and plastics, a sanitation committee was elected to over see the exercise and bye laws about sanitation instituted. Proper use of the rubbish bin has also been emphasized with proper deposition of degradable and non degradable materials into their compartments.