The Flora and Fauna of Lake Mutanda and African Clawless Otters
The Mutanda Eco Community Centre (MECC) is a major factor within the Mgahinga Community Development Organisation (MCDO). The Centre’s main objectives are;
To conserve the natural habitat of the local area.
To develop Education within the community holding talks at the centre for local schools and the whole community.
To develop Eco-Tourism within the area.
Lake Mutanda is a haven for local wildlife and so it is vital to promote and conserve flora and fauna of the area. To do this the MCDO hold talks at the centre with local school children and the communities in the area educating them on the environment giving them knowledge about conservation of natural resources, agriculture and sustainable development..
Currently the centre is gathering data of the flora and fauna of the whole area in which includes the Grey Crested Crane, Pink-Backed Pelican, Glossy Ibis, Pied Kingfisher, Long Chested Eagle, African Pied Wagtail and the Endangered Clawless African Otter. In the near future the MCDO is starting up an ongoing behavioural study on the Endangered Clawless African Otter in which volunteers are welcome to come and help carry out the study.
Ongoing data collection will eventually be used as part of the education training programme, giving information about plant and wildlife in and around the lake. The aim of the project is to educate and benefit the surrounding community. An important part of this education begins with the children.
Lake Mutanda used to be filled with fish and inhabited by crocodiles and hippos. Today, because of human encroachment, the latter animals are no longer to be found around the lake. The lake has lots of crayfish, Tilapia and some mudfish. If not afraid of the pythons living around the plot it is possible to bathe in the lake. The water temperature is lovely, always staying over 20 degrees.
The MECC is to use tourism as a tool to enhance possibilities of education for people, both from local communities, as well as students interested in the specific environment of the area. The revenues generated through tourism will serve as a major economic indicator to run, and develop the education centre, enabling the MCDO to run workshops and provide access to lecture rooms. The MECC activities will generate number of work opportunities for the community, and so will the construction of the centre.
MECC seeks to attract both international and national student groups with an interest for the specific culture, flora and fauna in the area around Kisoro and more specifically Lake Mutanda. The idea behind the project is to enable exchange of knowledge and create a dialogue between national and international students and the local population in Kisoro. The students will during their stay also be an income for MECC, while the locals will have their classes paid for, by the income generated by the students and tourist visiting. MECC wish to start a collaboration-involving student exchanges, educational projects, artist cooperation and creating new contacts and networks.
The idea for the future is to bring students or anyone with a passion to have the chance to change a person’s life for the better on a regular basis to the MECC to carry out field studies and participate in current projects (in specific socio-economy -and ecology studies). MECC also hope to start cooperation with Ugandan universities and students from other countries around the world.
If you are one of those people who is looking for an African experience and has the passion to help those in need then please please please get in contact and make yours and a communities’ dream come true.
Please contact us to find out how you can help and how you can volunteer. We are looking for volunteers with all skills and abilities to volunteer in many different areas. So please contact our volunteer co-ordinator and help make a difference to the environment and lives of local communities in Africa.