Parts of River Rwizi have sunk by 3 metres – NEMA

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By Andrew Kaggwa, NECJOGHA, MBARARA

The water level of River Rwizi in western Uganda has sunk by three metres creating problems for getting water to supply to Mbarara town.

This was revealed by the Regional Manager of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) for South Western, Jeconious Musingwire during a sub national climate café organised by the Network of Climate Journalists of the Greater Horn of Africa (NECJOGHA).

A climate cafe is a public discourse on the weather, climate and climate services especially climate forecasting services from end user interaction. It brings together various stakeholders in climate related sectors including climate scientists, the media, climate related sector experts including academia, farmers, fishermen, livestock keepers and energy sector experts for vigorous exchange of information.

The café was held at the Acacia Hotel in Mbarara on Monday. It was attended by journalists, district officials, members of civil society organisations and farmers.

NECJOGHA is operational in 11 countries of Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan and Uganda.  NECJOGHA with partners is conducting these climate cafes in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania over under the Weather Wise project. The cafes are done in collaboration with the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the respective countries and related climate impacted sectors.

River Rwizi which covers approximately 8200 km is the source of water for livelihood to both human and animals in the 10 districts of Rakai, Lyantonde, Isingiro, Lwengo, Kiruhura, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Sheema and Rubirizi.

Musingwire leads a of officals and locals to inspect the gabions created in the gullies to regulate water flowing down the mountains.

But it is threatened with extinction as water tides continue to drastically reduce due to encroachment on the river catchment areas through human activity.

Musingwire also said NEMA is also fighting the planting of eucalyptus in wetlands because its an exotic tree which is forbidden from being planted in wetlands by Section 36 (f) of the National Environment Act 1995

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