TOP
Wednesday,August 12,2020 02:23 AM
  • Home
  • National
  • Rising Lake Victoria waters displace hundreds of families

Rising Lake Victoria waters displace hundreds of families

By Dismus Buregyeya

Added 31st March 2020 10:31 AM

Jjuuko said a similar scenario occurred in 1973 and 1979 when lake water stretched 10sq.km inland.

Rising Lake Victoria waters displace hundreds of families

Parts of Lambu landing site in Masaka have been affected by a rise in the level of Lake Victoria

Jjuuko said a similar scenario occurred in 1973 and 1979 when lake water stretched 10sq.km inland.

 
A rise in the level of Lake Victoria has led to the displacement of hundreds of families in the fishing fraternity around Masaka's landing sites.
 
So far, over 100 houses have been submerged. Several businesses such as restaurants, clinics, drug shops, video halls, and bars have been affected.
The affected landing sites include Kachanga near the Kalangala- Masaka ferry docking area, Lambu, Namirembe, and Dimo.
 
Apart from that catching of silverfish that has been affected, fishing-related activities at the landing sites have continued.
 
The rising water last month cut Lambu landing site off, forcing Arab Contractors, a construction company, to intervene by elevating the road using heavy stones.
 
The Bukakata sub-county council chairperson, Joseph Jjuuko, said the water on the left side of Lambu landing site has submerged over 10sq.km of land. 
 
Jjuuko said a similar scenario occurred in 1973 and 1979 when lake water stretched 10sq.km inland.
 
Divine retribution?
Friday Sserunkuma, a casual labourer at the landing site, said the calamities at the landing site were a punishment from God for the communities' misdeeds.

He said it all began in 2017 when hundreds of fishermen and their families were displaced after over 10 landing sites were closed for being in business illegally.

"God must be angry with us.  Initially, the army displaced our families over illegal fishing and now the rising waters of Lake Victoria are sweeping away our homes," he said.
 
The district councillor representing Bukakata sub-county, Joseph Kimera, said the rising water levels had paralysed the fishing sector.
 
"We have plenty of fish, but exports have been affected. We are surviving on the local market for now," he said.

Kimera, who is the district finance committee chairperson, said the displacement of the fishermen coupled with the coronavirus scourge would have a severe effect on Masaka district administration's revenue base.

"Where is the district going to get revenue if the landing sites and the fishing sector have been paralysed? We need prayers," he said.
 
Looming health hazards
Lack of mosquito nets and other health-related challenges are among the biggest worries of the affected communities.

"We are afraid that we could experience a cholera outbreak soon because the place is filthy," Sarah Nantubwa, who runs a drug shop at Lambu, said.

She said the lack of toilets at the landing site is among the other major challenges. Some of the fishermen and their families ease themselves in the sand, lake and the nearby shrubs.

However, the Masaka Resident District Commissioner, Herman Ssentongo, said most of the fishermen will be allowed to remain at the lakeshore to continue fishing in order to raise money to feed their families.

Charles Ntensibe, the LC1 chairperson of Lambu landing site, called on the Office of the Prime Minister to intervene with food relief and medical supplies.

The former Masaka district environmental officer, Wilson Behwera, said the situation would normalise after some time.

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author