Lake Edward

Bio-physical and demographic characteristics

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

  • Smallest lake among the AGL

  • Surface area = 2,325 km², shoreline = 290 km

  • Population density in some riparian areas in Uganda is 126 persons per km2

  • Majority of riparian population lack clean water and have poor sanitation

Values and investment opportunities

  • Basin home to ~ 81 fish species, 60 of which are cichlids of which 92% are endemic

  • Fish yield in both riparian countries is about 16,900 tons per year  

  • Fishery employs ~1,000 fishers in DRC and ~1,100 in Uganda  

  • Lake edged by national parks (i.e. Virunga and Queen Elizabeth) important for tourism

  • Lake is a source of water for domestic uses and is important for climate moderation

  • Prospects for cage fish farming and salt mining

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

Ecological and economic concerns

  • Ecosystem services threatened by high population growth, overexploitation of natural resources, invasive species, habitat degradation, pollution, and climate change

  • Fish stocks are declining due to increased fishing pressure

  • Oil exploration in the Albertine Rift region poses a threat of pollution

  • Reported conflicts on fishery exploitation along national borders


  • National policies and regulations to guide development and management of water resources, fisheries, wildlife, and tourism

  • While there is a regional organization (NBI) in place, it does not just consist of countries of the AGL region

  • Research, management and community institutions exist but are not well coordinated and facilitated

  • Limited funding from national governments and international groups

Potential sustainable development interventions

  • Clarify the role of NBI as a regional institution that can coordinate harmonization of resource management efforts

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