Natural beauty and fast-paced development
Defining new community pathways to protect the unique Bahi region in Tanzania
Lake Sulunga and its surrounding wetlands, also known as the Bahi Wetlands, are located in Central Tanzania. The wetlands are situated in a natural depression and when there has been good rainfall, a saline lake forms which is home to abundant bird and fish populations, including greater and lesser flamingos. Due to its natural salinity and high water temperature, unique fauna and flora has developed in and around the lake. The local population depends on the area as a source of drinking water and for their livelihoods based on fishing, agriculture, salt making and livestock farming.
Economic development and nature conservation
The wetland is under the pressure of expanding agriculture, increasing livestock and uncontrolled tree-cutting and bird poaching. The mining of uranium and gold are potential sources of contamination of soils and water. The capital of Dodoma is located only 45 km away and the city is keeping pace with Tanzania’s current economic growth and expanding rapidly, putting additional pressure on the regions natural resources.
In 2017, NABU launched a project supported by the RLS in partnership with the University of Dodoma to assess the feasibility of protecting the area and the avian biodiversity. NABU contributes with a regional climate change multi-model analysis, a hydrological assessment of the Bahi area and community-driven action plans with mitigation recommendations for key sectors including fisheries and salt mining.