SUBMIT MANUSCRIPT

Donnish Journal of Geography and Regional Planning

October 2016 Vol. 2(3), pp. 022-028

Copyright © 2016 Donnish Journals




Original Research Article


Assessing Local Farmersí Awareness and Perceptions towards Wetland Protection and Conservation Strategies: The Case of Bugesera District, Rwanda


Gaspard Rwanyiziri1* and Maurice Mugabowindekwe2

1Department of Geography, College of Science and Technology, University of Rwanda, Rwanda.
2Department of Agribusiness, Faculty of Agriculture, Rusizi International University, Rwanda.

Corresponding Author's Email: g.rwanyiziri@ur.ac.rw

Accepted 26th September, 2016.



Abstract


This research paper aims at assessing the level of awareness and perception of local people towards wetlandsí protection and conservation in Bugesera District, Rwanda, by focusing on Tubumba - Nyakariba wetland system, one of the widely exploited wetlands in the area. Both primary and secondary sources of data collection were used. The sample size of 80 local farmers owning a piece of land in the wetland system was randomly selected to represent a population of 219 cooperative members, and a structured questionnaire was used to interview heads of households. In addition, unstructured interview with local government authorities or officers in charge of environmental management or agricultural activities at sector and district level was conducted. Finally, all collected data were analysed and interpreted by using existing tools and methods in social sciences. Results showed that, impressively, the totality of all interviewed local farmers are positively perceiving the importance of protecting and conserving wetland resources in the study area. However, their level of awareness regarding major challenges constraining their effective protection and conservation are low. In addition, that level is still low regarding the awareness towards the existing strategies, policies and laws on wetland protection and management in Rwanda. Finally, the study highlighted the role of public sensitization through regular trainings, day-to-day government supervision, and a regular support to local farmersí practices as key sustainable solutions towards an effective protection and conservation of the wetland resources in Bugesera district.

Keywords: Wetland, Wetland protection and conservation, Local farmersí awareness, Local farmersí perceptions.

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Cite This Article:

Gaspard Rwanyiziri and Maurice Mugabowindekwe. Assessing Local Farmersí Awareness and Perceptions towards Wetland Protection and Conservation Strategies: The Case of Bugesera District, Rwanda. Donnish Journal of Geography and Regional Planning. 2(3) 2016 pp. 022-028.


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