Wetlands and their importance

To guarantee a permanent source of water for the farm a wetland of about three acres of land with growing trees and various wetland vegetation has been re-established.  The advantages of the wetland to the farm   are summarized as follows;

Source of water

The small river that meanders through the farm providing water for fish farming and irrigation originates or passes through the wetland. The   wetland provides a sure source of water during the dry season.

Accept water storm water

The   wetland  acts like a sponge and  therefore accepts storm water and  retains it  for some time  and  slowly releases it    through  various  man- made rain water channels  without  causing  much  flooding.  A few years ago the lower part of the farm used to be flooded at the current wetland was then used for growing of sugarcanes and arrowroots.

Absorbs pollutants

There are some developers on the upper side of the farm who sometimes release some pollutants into the valley taking advantage of storm runoff water.  The wetland absorbs most of the impurities in the storm water before it reaches the farm.

Habitant for a wide diversity

The wetland is a home for various diversity of life that survives in swamps area including    plants, animals, birds, frogs, snakes and other water based living creatures.

Vegetative matter

The wetland also release vegetative matter as the water flows. Some of the vegetative matter is eaten by fish in the fish pond and by birds that have made the farm their home. The same vegetative matter also improves the soil fertility.

Animal food

Part of the wetland has been planted with a grass that is cut and fed to cows. The grass is available all year around.

Nature walk

A footpath has been developed around the wetland that enables visitors to enjoy a mud free nature walk

Before 2010 our farm used to be flooded immediately after a heavy rain fall because we had cleared all the swampy area for cultivation of wetland rice. We had a major problem of controlling the speed of surface runoff rain water.  Our crops were in the process destroyed by the water and the farm’s soil fertility reduced because of soil erosion.



Author: Muhaise
John is developing an agritourism mix farm with the plan of keeping a few animals on zero grazing, growing trees, coffee and bananas among other things. He also plans to engage in bee, mushroom and fish farming projects. John has developed a website www.pearlofafrica.com to share his experience and challenges with other people as he implements his dream.

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