The Kazinga channel is a 40km stretch of waterway joining lake Edward (Rutanzige/Edward Nyanza) to lake George (Dweru). The channel links the two lakes in a sort of symbiotic relationship whereby lake George which is to the northeast empties its waters southwest into lake Edward.
The channel is narrow and thus distinct from the two lakes it links. Unlike some rivers whose sources are not easy to locate, the Kazinga Channel is clearly defined and no special points are necessary in locating its source. Known as a wonder of nature, the channel is located in Kasese district in the western part of Uganda bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Kazinga channel is a source of water to not only the people living around it, but a big variety of both wild and domestic animals. Birds, butterflies and various insects can be found here. The flora and fauna along its shores thrives on the abundant water supply. This vegetation is food to many of the wild animals dwelling around the channel.
The channel is the dominant feature of the Queen Elizabeth national park because of the abundance of wild animals and birds. The waterway is a source of water to wild animals like elephants, hippopotami, buffaloes, crocodiles, leopards, antelopes and many more. The Nile crocodile and hippopotami are known to stay along the shore lines of the channel and these have been able to co-exist with each other. Domestic animals from the neighboring villages also quench their thirst from the channel’s fresh waters.
The waterway is home to several bird species including scavengers marabou storks, wild geese and water ducks, the shoe bill stork just to mention a few. Most of these feed on fish from the waterway. The waterway is an important economic resource for Kasese district as it is a source of employment to the fishing communities and these earn a living from fishing businesses. The fact that the waterway attracts different animal and bird species from the Queen Elizabeth national park has made it a popular destination for tourists. Boat trips are a common site as visitors partake the breath taking surroundings of flora, fauna and wildlife.
Just like any other protected wildlife habitat, the Kazinga channel together with its surrounding areas has faced challenges of poaching and illegal fishing practices, thus putting its wildlife in danger. For instance, poachers have targeted elephants for the tusks to facilitate a bustling ivory trade and this could in the long run, lead to their extinction from the area.
One measure devised to curb this practice has been the construction of a marine ranger station to oversee the activities that take place around the channel. Rangers have been deployed to prevent any illegal practices from being carried out for instance the trafficking of game meat. Bad fishing nets have from time to time been confiscated in order to ensure that proper fishing methods are used.”,”The Kazinga Channel waterway