Rise in current water levels attached to bad environmental practices – MP Amoru


Kilembe Mines Hospital has resumed operations after clouser over floods. Red Pepper photo.

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Summary:

  • Parts of Dokolo district are experiencing effects of floods
  • People should embrace best environmental practices to save us from this kind of disaster in the future.
  • MP Paul Amoru Omiat says human activities have sped up a quick rise in water level.
  • He asked government to broaden intervention beyond resettling the victims

Amidst novel coronavirus attack, Uganda is facing an unprecedented rise in water levels. This was after Lake Victoria water level exceeded that of 1964, hitting 13.42 metre mark—a fortnight ago.

This has seen most areas across the country recording floods—coupled with destructions of property, crop gardens, affecting human settlement, among others.

Early this month, Kigezi, Busoga, Teso and central Uganda were badly affected. Kilembe hospital in Kasese district was subsequently closed after floods invasion. Several buildings, schools, mosques and churches in the aforementioned sub-regions have been damaged.

“…….many parts of the country are experiencing impacts of intensive and prolonged rainfall resulting into rise in water levels of major water bodies and flooding, this unfortunately may continue for some time according to seasonal weather forecast issued by the government,” Paul Amoru Omiat, Dokolo North MP, said in a press statement.

In the same statement dated 20 March 2020, Mr Amoru who’s also the Vice Chairperson Lango Parliamentary Group [LPG] and Committee on ICT and National Guidance, Parliament of Uganda, already, some parts of Dokolo district have started experiencing effects of floods because of the rise in the water level from Lakes Kwania, Kyoga and heavy rain.

“Unfortunately, settlements and essential facilities in areas surrounding the lakes including health, schools, roads, water supply and sanitation facilities have been affected and thus, some people cannot now have access to social services,” he added.

Mr Amoru said it’s with great relief to learn that recently, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government wrote to all the Chief Administrative Officers [CAOs] and Municipality Town Clerks [TCs] across the country to identify government land for immediate temporary settlement of the affected families.

The MP requested that the process be expedited considering the fact that some of these people are now homeless without proper shelter.

“Government should broaden this intervention beyond resettling the victims as other social amenities and food support are equally very vital because these people’s gardens have been devastated by floods and they are left without food to feed their families,” he suggested.

Way-forward

The legislator implores Chief Administrative Officers through technical staff to expedite the process of collecting and compiling statistics of affected homesteads and crops gardens so he, alongside his colleagues can follow up on quick and comprehensive response by government in line with relief support and resettlement.

“As the district are assessing the level of damages on roads, bridges and swamps to submit to line ministry and government agencies, I urge the district to make necessary interventions within their means to work on those roads with the available road equipment to reinstate its state so that people are free to move in and out of the district at this period of production.”

According to the MP, the quick rise in water level has also been accelerated by human activities, especially environmental degradation, loss of forest cover, encroachment on wetlands, lakeshores and poor land use practices. “It is therefore my prayer that people should embrace best environmental practices to save us from this kind of disaster in the future,” he recommends.

He further asked government to continue providing early warning information on the weather and change in water levels so that people can remain alert at all times.

On coronavirus fight, he applauded people of Dokolo North Constituency, Dokolo district and entire Lango for embracing all the safety precautions and guidelines issued by President Yoweri Museveni to contain the spread of coronavirus, urging all people to continue with the spirit.

Last week, Uganda People’s Congress [UPC] party asked government to immediately restore water catchment areas across the country.

Mr Lawrence Okae, the UPC national chairman added that they were making an urgent appeal to government to restore all our natural catchment areas like swamplands across the country, describing it as “it is our best hope”.


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