Restore water catchment areas now – UPC tells government


This is Kampala City. Photo Courtesy of Business Focus

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In recent weeks, some part of Uganda were submerged with floods. This was after Lake Victoria water level exceeded that of 1964, hitting 13.42 metre mark.

Several buildings – mosques and hotels, apartments in Kampala and her surroundings have been demolished.

Now, Uganda People’s Congress [UPC] party has told government to take actions by restoring water catchment areas with immediate effect.

Referring to its 11th December 2019 press statement, UPC said Meteorology Department warned and alerted government and general public to expect “exceedingly heavy prolonged rains that are likely to go beyond the rain season period”.

Quoting Uganda National Metrological Authority [UNMA] ‘department’ in that press release, the rain would be “received with destructive effects”.

“As people are hardly struggling with life in this lockdown, as a result of COVID-19, Uganda is again faced with a big challenge of heavy rains coupled with floods across the country. This is negatively affecting human activities,” UPC’s National Chairman, Mr Okae Lawrence said in a Wednesday press statement.

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According to UPC, roads, bridges are being washed away especially in places of Kasese, Busoga and Teso. Also, it says buildings like schools, Hospitals and people’s houses have been damaged heavily across the country.

“It is more critical in Kasese where Kilembe hospital, a number of people’s houses by reports and visual coverage are submerged in water,” Mr Okae adds.

“Normal life in such places is at standstill. UPC sympathizes with the affected families and calls upon concerned authorities and all people of good will to come to their rescue.”

The party also noted that the dangers of waterborne diseases like cholera, dysentery, typhoid is very much higher now as most of “our pit latrines are in areas that are flooded, which needs urgent attention by all stakeholders in order to avoid the outbreak of such deadly diseases in wake of COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Furthermore, Mr Okae reaffirms that all our natural water bodies; lakes and rivers are experiencing increased water levels and making water transport very difficult as most landing sites are getting submerged.

While some of the affected people who have built along the shores and river banks are relocating to safer places, such places lacks basic facilities for human settlement, opposition party noted.

“The forests are being cut down for timber and charcoal, yet they are very strategic in holding up water. The great swamps of Lubigi in Wakiso district were put to another usage for water and sewerage infrastructure. This is causing excessive flooding in Kawempe and Bwaise areas.”

“Resettlements in swamplands and other human activities are primarily responsible for the floods around Kampala.”

The Kampala road based party also says the giant swamplands of Lwera along Kampala Masaka road are not spared either, adding that they are being damaged by those extracting sand for building.

“UPC is on record urging both government and the public to strategically engage in environmental friendly activities if we are to save our environment.”

According to Akena Jimmy led opposition party, all these are manmade actions that are negatively affecting our environment and livelihood which at the same time affect the performance of our economy.

“Uganda Peoples Congress is making an urgent appeal to government to restore all our natural catchment areas like swamplands across the country as it is our best hope.”


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