By Andrew Masinde
Uganda has partnered with Egypt to remove the weed that evaded Lake Kyoga.
The task of clearing the weed started in 1999 and has registered two successful phases.
The first phase which started on Lakes Victoria and Albert, River Kagera and some parts of Lake Kyoga cost about $13.9million.
Photo by Andrew Masinde
The Head of Mission for Egypt Irrigation Mission in Uganda, Dr.Yosry Khafagy says since they had worked on several lakes in Uganda to mitigate the weed, the same will be done on Lake Kyoga.
In 2010 they embarked on the second phase that cost $4m.
In 2014, the third phase intended to completely clear the weed from L. Kyoga and to construct the proposed 15 dams in the northern and eastern part of Uganda started.
The project estimated at US$ 2.0 million is also expected to remove over 15 million m³ of aquatic weeds blocking the lake’s outlets, improve fishing activities and the construct a pilot fish farm.
The construction of 15 water harvesting dams to collect Nile water for household and animal use, clearing of the weeds threatening the stability of the Pakwach Bridge which connects Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan will also take place in this phase.
“We constructed 23 water harvesting dams on 19 landing site for fishing activities and 4 fish farms in all regions of Uganda. We also built the landing sites of Massese, Amolatar and Kaliro, these were all in the first phase,” Khafagy said.
Engineer Dominic Mucunguzi the project coordinator, Uganda-Egypt Aquatic weed control project and Engineer - Watershed Management at Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, said this is a great opportunity for Uganda because the lake was in bad state.
He said the weed had seriously affected the water quality.
“The weed invaded the lake in 1994. It was not serious. We were hesitant and this is why we sought for help to solve the problem,” he explained