Lake Victoria is a huge transboundary body shared by Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, with about 23 rivers that bring water into the lake. Some of these rivers originate from as far as Rwanda and Burundi. That is to say, when it rains in Burundi, water finds its way into Lake Victoria.
While addressing journalists on May 1, Sam Cheptoris, the Minister of Water and Environment, said the rise in the water levels has mostly been accelerated by human activity, especially environmental degradation, such as loss of forest cover, encroachment on wetlands, lakeshores, and riverbanks, including poor land-use practices.
Noting that these have resulted in soil erosion, leading to the siltation of our water bodies, hence the speedy movement of water into the lakes and rivers with a lot of silt, which has further reduced storage capacities of the water bodies. According to Cheptoris, the increased water level is causing dislodgement of papyrus mats from encroached shorelines, resulting in a huge mass of floating Islands, which are dangerous to hydropower infrastructure.
"Water transport facilities have also been affected by rising water levels. Also, the construction of Kyiko Bridge, downstream of Isimba Hydropower Dam, has come to a halt. Essential facilities such as drinking water and sanitation systems, health facilities, roads, among others, have been affected," he said. Also, the settlements and developments around Lake Victoria and River Nile have been affected, with many hotels, beaches and houses already flooded. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS STORY.