World Wetlands Day 2006 in Zambia


Lukanga Swamps - World Wetlands Day Celebrations

World Wetlands, drama performance by Nansenga school pupils.
Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza

Pupils of Nansenga School. In the background is a makeshift classroom
Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza

2nd February is commemorated world wide as World Wetlands Day. Environmental partners in Zambia decided to commemorate this important day at Lukanga Swamps about three hours drive from the capital Lusaka. This was particularly a special event as Lukanga Swamps was in November last year, added to the Ramsar family as a wetland of international importance. The World Wetlands Day, whose theme for this year was 'Wetlands and water - supporting life, sustaining livelihoods', was celebrated at Lukanga Swamps under the auspices of the national wetlands desk office - Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) working together with WWF, Environmental Council of Zambia and Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources.

The local community of mainly fishermen were invited to join in the celebration, which took place at the local school, Nansenga Primary School. The school of about 300 pupils were active in preparations and receiving the visitors and guests from the area, Kabwe town and Lusaka city. It was one of the most exciting events to happen at this rural primary school.

People took time from their daily activities of fishing, trading, cultivation etc and made their way to Nansenga school where they started gathering form 09:00hrs in the morning. Dignitaries at the event were local Chief Mukuni and ZAWA Chairperson Chieftainess Chiwaya. Also present at the event were government representatives, ZAWA, WWF, ECZ staff, the school children and their teachers.

Government informed the local people that Lukanga Swamps had been designated a Ramsar site. The Local chief representative wanted a clarification what Ramsar designation meant for the local community and whether this involved handing over the wetland to Ramsar. WWF shared with the Lukanga community, field activities with communities in Kafue Flats wetlands and Chikuni of Bangweulu.

The programme ended with a lunch cooked by women at Nansenga School, ending the day's activities after a sudden downpour, appropriate for the day and of the Lukanga Swamps wetland!

Local traditional dancer at the world wetlands day celebration in Lukanga Swamps leading in the two chiefs for the event.
Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza

Chieftainess Chiyawa, (left) and Chief Mukuni's representative, watching the drama performance by Nansenga school pupils.
Picture by Eddie Mwanaleza

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