Employment through tourism in Uganda: Relating to Lake Inle Degradation

The above video shows what is happening at Lake Inle

In a recent survey Ugandan graduate quota was 400,000 leading to the accumulation of excess human capital with no subsequent employment opportunities. With this demographic sustainable growth is needed of employment in both formal and informal sector to the meet the growing population.  Entrepreneurship promotion as a way to fight poverty has been a challenge because it has not created employment as expected. This has led to an increase in self – employment in the informal sector but it has not resulted in additional job creation.

Many livelihoods of Ugandans are tied intimately to the environment as a source of household requirements and production. Uganda’s agricultural, mining and tourism sector are dependent directly on the natural resources and the environment. It’s possible that the environment and natural resource base is the highest provider of gainful informal employment to the Ugandan economy (Yakobo Moyini , Eugene Muramira, Lucy Emerton & Fanuel Shechambo, 2002).  Tourism based on wildlife indirectly and directly supports the livelihoods of people.  The biological basis of food security is derived from animal and plant genetic resources. The benefits are yielded from wildlife animals and plants contribute to the local and national income. Tourism activities are a source of food, bush meat, cropping, wildlife hunting and ranching (State of environment report, 2010)

Dating back tourism has been initiated and promoted by environment. Environment and tourism have jointly been part of all phases of the development process.  Through tourism many restorations on archaeological treasures and monuments have occurred and conservation of nature resources like through eco – tourism.  It contributes about 6% of the world income, tourism represents an estimated 3.4% of total employment directly supported by 101 million jobs (WTTC 2013 Economic Impact Report) it’s a key source of employment across the world, where 1 out of 11 jobs across the globe are in the tourism sector. It has helped in giving jobs to the underrepresented population groups in the labour market of women and youth; this is manifested by a report by UNWTO and UN Women in 2010.  The sector has been important in achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goal of gender equality and empowerment of women. Consumer surplus in tourism like gorilla tracking alone has grossed $1.72million per year in Uganda. (Moyini and Muramira, 2001)

Tourism naturally, has a marked impact on the demand for exhaustible and renewable resources. Congestion, noise, many people, and litter are associated with tourism, where it generates significant wastes and leading to disposal problems (Stabler and Goodall, 1996)This leads to the disruption of animal life cycle, extinction of fragile plants, and human wastes into water bodies and beaches. Tourism has affected man made environment as most of these infrastructures are set up with no prior research but for sake of supporting the tourism sector like visual pollution, ribbon development & sprawl, overloading of the infrastructure, segregation of local residents and traffic congestion

 Environmental degradation estimated cost of at the macro-economic level in Uganda
Biodiversity loss
506 billion/year
Degradation of soil resources
225 billion/year
Range land degradation
815 billion/year
Wetlands encroachment
2 billion/year
Contamination of water systems
38 – 61 billion/year
Emerton and Muramira, 1999

By Kateregga Dennis, BA(ECON), Dip. IEL 

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