River protection

Residents Warned Over River Encroachment

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Residents Warned Over River Encroachment

Cliff Abenaitwe

July 2, 2012

Environmentalists in Western Uganda are expressing concern over the persistent encroachment on river banks.  They say this must stop to avert problems like reduction of the river water levels, silting of the rivers as well as environmental degradation.

Some of the rivers and streams adversely affected by the act include River Rwizi and River Kagera in Western Uganda.

River Rwizi water has subsequently changed due to human activity along the River

Jeconius Musingwire the national Environmental management authority (NEMA) focal person in western Uganda says the need for agricultural land, sand quarrying, over grazing and charcoal burning, have caused more harm than good to the banks of river Rwizi.

He adds that such human activities have led to far-reaching effects. “ The water levels are reducing every now and again which means that towns like Mbarara that use piped water pumped from River Rwizi will face acute water shortages especially in the dry spell more than ever” Musingwire adds.

He explicates that as the result of human activity, soils from upstream end up in the river because of the bare banks causing silting.

Action Plan

Despite the damage already inflicted, the good news is that the situation is reversible.

“We need adopt environment conservation practices to save our land from the effects of climatic change” Musingwire advises.

Protection of the River banks is everyone’s responsibility and it is achievable.

He explains that protecting the river banks through planting of trees on the already damaged banks as well as in the upstream areas and implementing environmental policies and legislations will save the country from a looming catastrophe.

Planting trees especially in hilly areas is a big step forward in environmental conservation.
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