Tuesday May 13 2014

Kasese to flood for 2 years - experts

Part of the damage caused by the River Nyamwamba burst and subsequent

Part of the damage caused by the River Nyamwamba burst and subsequent floods in Kasese last week. PHOTO BY THEMBO KAHUNGU 


KASESE- Government is asking for Shs30 billion to de-silt river Nyamwamba to stop the bursting of its banks, which has resulted in floods that have claimed lives and property.

However, experts say this move, may not comprehensively deal with the problem since there are several other rivers emanating from the Rwenzori mountain ranges that also burst the banks not to mention other environmental factors in the region causing floods.

Kasese District has been hit by floods every year for the last 5 years leading to loss of lives and property but the magnitude of the damage caused by the large volumes of water has increased since May 2013.

Environmental and hydrological experts say that the floods may be experienced for the next two years or so, a situation that has been created by climate change. The western region focal person and public awareness officer for Nema, Mr Jeconious Musingwiire has warned that the challenges of floods should be expected a little longer.

“The challenges are trans-boundary as some come from Democratic Republic of Congo as the Rwenzori ranges spread far from the Uganda border”

Mr Musingwiire lists tree planting, restoration of degraded sections of bare grounds and critical river line wetlands, and promotion of soil and water conservation structures in the agricultural fields as the quickest solution to the dilemma.

He also advises the environmental laws which regulate an area of 30 metres around the river banks be observed to allow the stabilisation of the banks.

“To achieve this, we need to bring all stakeholders on board and allow participatory planning and implementation especially in the enforcement of laws” observed Musingwiire.

The Kasese district environment officer, Mr Augustine Koli said by the time of the new floods, the district was waiting for the Office of the Prime Minister to fulfill a $10,000 (Shs25 m) pledge to take on disaster risk reduction programmes that include the river training.