By Ali Wasswa, BUKEDDE/NECJOGHA
MBARARA, UGANDA – President Yoweri Museveni has castigated some residents of Mbarara Municipality in western Uganda who dump sewerage into River Rwizi.
“Those engaged in this practice must be arrested immediately and houses found to be releasing sewerage in the river be demolished,” Museveni who is in a countrywide tour of the country was addressing a press briefing at Mbarara State Lodge on Thursday night
He expressed concern that Mbarara Municipality now gets its water from River Kagyera because River Rwizi catchment area is no longer able to provide adequate water for domestic and commercial purposes.
Museveni added that the government is moving ahead with a plan to nullify all land titles that were issued in gazette wetlands. Before heading to Mbarara, he had ordered for the cancellation of titles issued to people in the Lwera wetland in Kalungu district part of the greater Masaka.
The contamination of River Rwizi has been a major concern over a long period of time. The National Environment Management Authority-NEMA blames the leaders of Mbarara Municipality, Isingiro and Mbarara District for failing to end activities that contaminate the water body.
Recently residents of Mbarara who were mobilized by the municipality leadership cleared the river of water hyacinth and other filth.
The Regional Manager of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) for South Western, Jeconious Musingwire recently told a sub national climate café organised by the Network of Climate Journalists of the Greater Horn of Africa (NECJOGHA) that the water level of River Rwizi in western Uganda has sunk by three metres creating problems for getting water to supply to Mbarara town.
River Rwizi which covers approximately 8200 km is the source of water for both human use and animals in the 10 districts of Rakai, Lyantonde, Isingiro, Lwengo, Kiruhura, Mbarara, Bushenyi, Buhweju, Sheema and Rubirizi.