Lake Albert

lake-albert

Biophysical and demographic characteristics

  • Shared by Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

  • Surface area = 5,300 km², shoreline = 508 km

  • Population density in riparian areas up to ~149 persons per km2

  • Limited access to clean drinking water resulting in the prevalence of diseases

Values and investment opportunities

  • Fish species diversity is relatively low ~40-55 species of fish

  • Ranks second among AGL in fishery yield with estimated catch of 172,000 tons per year

  • Supports ~15,420 fishers in Uganda and ~20,000 fishers in DRC

  • Prospects for cage fish farming with pilot cage fish farms on the lake

  • Climate is favorable for cash crops like tea, coffee, cotton, and food crops such as beans, maize and bananas

  • Tourism potential due to unique biodiversity and beautiful scenery

Ecological and economic concerns

  • High population growth rate is increasing pressure on land and water resources, leading to increased land use and land use change, catchment and habitat degradation through sedimentation, pollution and eutrophication

  • Demand of fish has increased leading to increased over exploitation of fishery

  • Reported conflicts along the border between Uganda and the DRC

  • A dam is being constructed at the inflow of the Victoria Nile at Murchison Falls

Governance

  • National policies and regulations in place and research, management and community institutions exist but are not well coordinated and facilitated

  • Lack of regional institution to coordinate harmonization of development and conservation of natural resources

  • Fisheries management has, as for the other lakes, been complicated by the large number of species requiring different gears

Potential sustainable development interventions

  • Need to form a regional institution to coordinate harmonization of development and conservation efforts in the lake

  • Need for creation, standardization and implementation of management policies, generation and sharing of information, and promotion of community participation at all relevant levels

  • Need to incorporate the potential impacts of dams on aquatic ecosystems in the design and construction of dams

  • Need to promote livelihood diversification especially among fishing communities