During the water week, activities are carried out countrywide to sensitize the masses on sustainable use of water resources and environmental conservation
The Ministry of Water and Environment kicked off the Water week with activities that included clean-up activity in Kitooro in Entebbe, Wakiso district.
The ministry was joined by its close allies; Water Aid, National Forestry Authority, United Nations and other stakeholders.
The clean-up exercise was part of the activities to mark the Uganda Water and Environment Week (UWEWK) at the Water Resource Institute in Entebbe in week-long activities.
During the water week, activities are carried out countrywide to sensitize the masses on sustainable use of water resources and environmental conservation.
This year's activities were held under the theme: Water and Environment, a Strategic River in the Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
SDGs are globally accepted goals which are supposed to be implemented by countries to improve people's livelihoods and promote sustainable use of resources, including the environment.
SDG6 is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
The morning cleaning exercise which commenced at around 9:00 am to midday, saw a cross-section of people, both residents and non-residents who were equipped with hoes, brooms, spades and wheelbarrows sweeping and unblocking drainage channels.
By midday, Nakiwogo Road, Kiwafu East Road, Market Street, pathways and the garbage collection centres were all clean.
Speaking during the clean-up exercise, Entebbe Municipality Mayor De Paul Kayanja decried the poor disposal of plastic bags as a big setback in the effort to ensure sanitation and cleanliness of Entebbe and other urban areas in general.
"I call upon the residents of Entebbe to protect the water resources. We need to protect the wetland by planting more trees in our areas and also mind about our dumping habits of plastic bottles and polythene bags. These two are affecting our environment seriously. If we can handle them responsibly, then we shall have a clean and healthy environment," he said
Kayanja asked the residents to separate bio-degradable garbage from non- degradable like plastic bottles as a way of conserving the environment.
He warned residents who sell water expensively yet they get water at cheap price from the National Water and Sewerage Corporation.
"We all know how water is important in life, why should those with piped water sell a jerry can at sh500-700 yet they get it cheaply?" he wondered.
Dr Callist Tindimugaya, commissioner water resources, planning and regulation, in the Ministry of Water and Environment asked Kitooro residents to practice high sanitation standard saying having a clean, up-kept neighbourhood benefits all members of the community.
"As we are battling climate change in the country, keeping our environment and tidying up your neighbourhood can have a big impact on the community," he said
Timdimugaya said neighbourhood clean-up does not have to be on a large scale but can be done by a few families getting involved, or it can be an entire neighbourhood or church group.
Jane Sembuche Mselle, the Water Aid country director commended the community for participating in the water week activities saying it was very important in attaining of SDG targets.
"I strongly believe that 11 years from now we shall have a good environment if the communities especially the young children and other stalk holders in involved," noted.
Jassy Birungi, the Resident District Commissioner observed the need to protect the lake from car washers and those who bath from it.
"We need stringent law that can deter Ugandans from using polythene bags which destroy our environment," she stressed.