Home Sci-TechEnvironment Uganda: Panic as Lake Victoria Water Levels Rise Again

Uganda: Panic as Lake Victoria Water Levels Rise Again

Uganda: Panic as Lake Victoria Water Levels Rise Again

Water levels have risen again at some landing sites on Lake Victoria’s shoreline causing panic among fishermen who had started returning to their homes.

The affected landing sites include Lambu, Kachanga, Namirembe, and Kaziru in Masaka District and Kasensero Landing Site in Kyotera District.

Ms Rose Nakyejjwe, the Masaka District environment officer, said the water level at Lambu Landing Site has risen by close to 50 metres and there are fears that they may go up as the March -May seasonal rain starts.

Some of the makeshift houses at the landing site, which had not been affected by the flooding last year, have not been spared this time round.

“Lambu landing site is 50 metres away from the lake shores although by law it is supposed to be 200 metres,” Ms Nakyejjwe said during an interview at the weekend.

She said the landing site is currently unfit for human settlement and advised residents to vacate before the seasonal rains intensify.

Mr Alex Muswa, a fisherman at Lambu Landing Site, said the water levels had stabilised last year between November and December, but it started rising again in the last week of January.

He added that government has remained silent about their plight with no meaningful support extended to victims since last year.

“We waited for any relief from government in vain, even the temporary settlement was provided to us by well-wishers,” Mr Muswa said.

Ms Kellen Kyakimwa, a food vendor at Lambu Landing Site, said they are not ready to leave because it is where they earn a living.

“Both the floods and Covid-19 pandemic left us crippled as a fishing community,” Ms Kyakimwa said.

Mr Rashid Babu, the manager of Mpongo Limited, a firm managing Lambu Landing Site, said they are closely monitoring the water levels and when they reach threatening levels, they will advise residents to relocate to safer areas.

“We are taking into account the advice from weather experts to avoid any loss of lives,” Mr Babu said.

Last year, when the water levels rose, the Lambu residents were relocated to what is now known as Covid City, an open space located three kilometres on Bukakkata -Nyendo Road.

At Kasensero Landing Site, the fishermen have asked experts to explain why the water levels have continued to rise since April 2020.

Mr Joseph Ssekiwunga, the chairperson of Kasensero Landing Site in Kyotera District, said a lot of their property has been lost since many houses were submerged in water.

“Some of our colleagues have decided to abandon the landing site because even the fishing business is not currently doing well due to the massive death of fish,” he said.