African Journal of
Environmental Science and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Environ. Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0786
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJEST
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 1014

Full Length Research Paper

Local institutions for sustaining wetland resources and community livelihoods in the Lake Victoria basin

Jacob K. Kibwage1, Paul O. Onyango2, and Hilary Bakamwesiga3
  1Maseno University, School of Environment and Earth Sciences P.O. Box 333, Maseno, Kenya. 2Paul lectures at University of Dares Salaam, Faculty of Aquatic Sciences and Technology (FAST), Tanzania. 3Hillary also lectures at Makerere University, Institute of Environment and Natural Resources (MUIENR), Uganda.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 17 April 2008
  •  Published: 30 May 2008



What should policy makers do in deciding between institutions promoting community livelihoods or sustaining wetland resources within an impoverished community?  Prioritizing community livelihoods without understanding the impact of local institutions on wetland resources may only aggravate impoverishment. However, prioritizing sustainable wetland resource use may lead to short-term impoverishment with positive long-term effect on both community livelihood and sustainable wetland resources. This paper tries to address this difficulty by assessing local level institutions such as property rights and those that govern extraction of wetland resources in three wetland communities of Lake Victoria. The paper argues that reassessing institutions on ‘tenure system’ and ‘access to’ resources are desirable policy objectives that should guide such decisions.


Key words: Sondu-Miriu, Katonga, Simiyu/Duma, wetland sustainability, community livelihoods, local institutions, Lake Victoria Basin