Ecology Programmes The Manafwa Project

For decades the Manafwa watershed has been a critical bread-basket for Uganda as the area has a good climate and fertile volcanic soils for food production.


The Manafwa watershed is also one of the most highly populated areas in Uganda with the majority of the people being dependent on agriculture. This high population density creates an enormous pressure on the land, often resulting in encroachment on fragile areas and farming on ever steeper slopes and marginal lands. As such, the watershed has become a hotspot of rapid degradation of natural resources. Urgent action is needed to preserve this watershed for future generations.


The goal of the Manafwa project is “to restore resilience and stimulate stewardship of the Manafwa watershed”. The programme is carried out by a consortium of both Ugandan and Dutch organizations lead by Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR).

Key to this project are the smallholder farmers living in the watershed. They manage thousands of small plots of land that provide them with food and income. Investment in these smallholder farmers is needed to make them aware and give them the skills to care for their land. This will be realized by introducing the PIP approach: Plan Integré du Paysan in French, meaning in English “Integrated Farm Planning approach”. This Integrated Farm Plan consists of two drawings that respectively visualize the current farm situation and the family’s desired future situation to be attained in about 3 to 4 years. It is developed and drawn by all family members together, based on their own aspirations and needs. Creating a PIP triggers discussion and reflection in a family concerning their future, and the central role of the land and its resources. What flows from this is a common vision with a concrete action plan, and a change in mind-set (more stewardship!) to invest in a more resilient farm – together, with the whole family.

The projects will organize its activities around 3 main objectives:

  1. To lay a solid foundation for resilient farming, with motivated people and healthy land.
  2. To achieve good stewardship of natural resources in the villages and in the National Park.
  3. To create an enabling environment for further upscaling of resilience-based stewardship.

This programme is executed by our partner Wageningen Environmental Research (WENR)

Key features

Landscape  Manafwa watershed: 60.000 ha
  Fertile volcanic soils ideal for farming
  Drinking water for 1 million + people
Goals  A solid foundation for resilient farming
  Good stewardship of natural resources
  An enabling environment to upscale resilience-based stewardship.