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Rising Water Levels On Lake Albert Threaten Lives Of 30,000 Residents

The rising water levels on Lake Albert in Bunyoro region have left residents along the shores of the lake in dire situation, with calls for relief aid from Government.

According to Godfrey Abigaba, the Village Chairman for Kibiro landing site, politicians that pledged to mobilise relief aid to the residents have not responded since they visited the affected area a few months ago.

 He says that the Hoima District LC 5 Chairman, Kadiri Kirungi and the Kigorobya County Member of Parliament and Public Service State Minister,  David Karubanga visited the area in May 2020, but no feedback has ever been received to date when the impacts of evictions, lockdown and floods are biting harder.

“Hon Karubanga and Hoima District LC 5 chairman, Kadiri Kirungi are the only politicians I have received here. They promised to bring relief aid in form of maize flour, beans and tarpaulin for the affected people for survival, but the honourable said he would fight hard to ask the government to compensate the evicted people since they lost their property but until now, there is no feedback,” Abigaba said.

He called upon political leaders to ensure that the affected people receive relief aid like food.

“MPs, area councilors and chairman LC 5  come and help these people because food has become a problem to them. Currently, some have only one meal a day while others are sleeping on empty stomachs. As you move around, you feel merciful to them,” he added.

The Bunyoro Parliamentary Caucus chairman, Steven Biraahwa Mukitale, says leaders have written to the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and are now waiting for feedback.

More than 30,000 persons have been displaced either by floods or military evictions during the closure of landing sites believed by the central government to be illegal in Hoima Kikuube, Buliisa and Pakwach districts alone.

In Hoima district, floods have cut off the road linking Kibiro with Runga via Bikunyu and Butyaba Health Centre 3 is now inaccessible by road.

Public latrines have been submerged, water sources have been affected while Wanseko-Panyimur ferry service is suspended.

The offices of the Lake Rescue, Marine Police, Fisheries and the major fish markets in Wanseko and Panyimur are some of the government infrastructure directly affected.

Most of the affected persons and facilities were established illegally within the 200 and 100 metre – buffer zone recommended by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Act for lakes and major rivers respectively.

By Drake Nyamugabwa

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