The importance of freshwater species to livelihoods in the Lake Victoria Basin

The Lake Victoria Basin is home to the most extensive wetlands in Eastern Africa and these wetlands support remarkably high levels of floral biodiversity. Freshwater plants have a diverse range of uses, with variations in use depending on the plant part and life stage. Medicinal use of plants is very common in rural communities, as there is often no access to modern medical facilities, and investigations of the medicinal properties of plants have been conducted for centuries.Given these attributes, Lake Victoria (and its basin) is uniquely central to curbing problems of both malnutrition and poverty if measures can be put in place to ensure sustainable use of its biodiversity. In this chapter, we provide a summary of our detailed assessment of the use and livelihoods value of the freshwater fishes and plants of the Lake Victoria Basin. The aim of this assessment was to collate information on the many and varied uses of these species, in order to increase awareness of their great importance to the livelihoods of the communities of the Lake Victoria Basin, and demonstrate that conservation of this biodiversity is of vital importance.
Sayer, Catherine & Máiz-Tomé, Laura & Akwany, Leonard & Kishe, Mary & Vianny, Natugonza & Whitney, Cory & Omondi, Reuben & Nshutiyayesu, Samuel & Kabuye, Christine. (2018). The importance of freshwater species to livelihoods in the Lake Victoria Basin.