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Uploaded on Wednesday 09 Oct 2013 by GRID-Arendal

Zambezi River Basin wetlands

Year: 2013 Author: GRID-Arendal
Wetlands cover a large area of the Zambezi River Basin. For example, in Zambia the Kafue Flats, Lukanga swamps, Barotse flood plains, Nyambomba swamps, Cuando, Busanga,Luangwa and Luena flats cover an area greater than 2.6 million hectares (SADC and ZRA 2007). These wetlands are used for fisheries, agriculture, wildlife management, and transportation services.  The variations in flooding in areas such as the Zambezi floodplains, East Caprivi wetlands, Kafue Flats and Muzarabani district create the soils used to support the intensive agriculture that sustains communities living near them. The most important wetlands in the basin are Barotse Floodplains in Zambia, the Chobe Swamps in northeastern Namibia, the Linyanti Swamp in Botswana, the Busanga Swamps on the Lunga River, the Lukanga Swamps and the Kafue Flats on the Luangwa River, and the Elephant Marsh near the town of Chiromo in Malawi. Wetlands are important habitats for fish, animals and birds and provide vegetative cover and suitable breeding and feeding grounds for many species. Wetlands are also used for commercial fisheries, the most notable of which are in Lake Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa, the Zambezi delta/Sofala bank, Cahora Bassa, Itezhi-Tezhi, Kafue and Lake Kariba. Fish contribute a significant part of the daily diet of the people who live near wetlands. Wetlands also promote tourism activities including photography, bird watching and hunting (SADC and SARDC 2008).
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