It was a memorable moment for the Cranes project team and the local communities that were facilitated to attend the World Wetlands Day 2020 in Bushenyi on 7th February 2020. Holding the banner that highlighted crane and wetlands conservation work in the project titled “Saving the Endangered Grey Crowned Crane in East Africa” being implemented by the Endangered Wildlife Trust/ International Crane Foundation/ NatureUganda Partnership, a twenty- member team from Kabale and Rubanda districts arrived in Bushenyi to participate in the World Wetlands Day celebrations that were held at Bumbaire grounds, Bushenyi district on 7th February 2020.
It had been deemed important that communities attend the function and to not only showcase how they conserve wetlands and other biodiversity therein but also learn from their counterparts involved in similar work elsewhere in the country.
This years’ World Wetlands Day was a unique opportunity to highlight wetland biodiversity, its status, why it matters to promote actions that address the decline of threats. Relating to the world theme “Wetlands and Biodiversity” Uganda coined its national theme as “Life Thrives in Wetlands; protect them”.
As a team and programme working on wetlands in Uganda, it was important that ACCP conspicuously participates in the national events especially that the venue was within reach. Participating in the events leading to the day was as exciting as the event itself. Our radio talk show at Voice of Kigezi in Kabale was a moving moment as we engaged with listeners over matters concerning the importance of wetlands to human life and that of other biodiversity and even their role in Climate Change mitigation. We equally highlighted on ACCP conservation actions that reduce human dependence on wetland based resources and secure the life of biodiversity forms.
Donning t-shirts conspicuously well branded with the EWT/ICF/NU partnership logo; and holding high a banner branded with messages of enhancing the protection of the Grey Crowned, the crane conservation team braved the scotching sun to lead in a 1.5km long match from Nyaruzinga wetland to the celebration grounds. Later in the day, a variety of wetlands resources products carefully prepared by the communities were exhibited to highlight the economic sense of the wetlands. As we travelled back to Kabale, after the celebrations, the communities unanimously chorused in a song “Bend the curve, bend the curve! bend the curve of the crane population in Uganda”.