Local leaders in the districts of Mityana and Kassanda are in a panic as rising water levels in Lake Wamala continue to wreak havoc in villages along the shores.
In the past month, the lake’s water levels have risen, causing flooding in people’s homes and cutting off roads at the different landing sites.
Lake Wamala is one of the freshwater bodies in Uganda covering over 250 square kilometres in the districts of Mityana, Gomba and Kassanda.
“People are stuck and all their businesses and properties have been destroyed. They do not have anywhere to go,” Geoffrey Kamya, the Kassanda District fisheries officer said in an interview.
At the Bugolo landing site on the side of Kassanda District, some parents were stuck in flooded houses with their children and all household items soaked in flood waters by the end of May 12.
Currently, there are no businesses going on at most landing sites due to the floods.
“We have written to the Office of the Prime Minister to help rescue residents stranded at landing sites,” Kamya told this publication at the weekend.
Eric Kagaba, one of the local leaders said there is a need to urgently evacuate the affected households.
“Whether they illegally settled in these areas or not, we need to save their lives. They are facing imminent danger,” he added.
In Mityana District, some of the residents and local leaders have appealed to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to personally intervene.
“She [Nabbanja] can either come herself or direct the minister of disaster preparedness to come and rescue these people,” Wilson Wasswa, a resident of Maanyi Trading Centre in Mityana District remarked.
Julius Tumusiime, another resident of Maanyi said the floods have completely cut off some areas and residents can no longer access health facilities.
“Many people live on islands but get services from the mainland. So, in this situation, nothing can go on and those who fall sick are going to die,” he warned.
About Lake Wamala
Lake Wamala is associated with several rivers and wetlands, including rivers Katonga and Kibimba, which drain into Lake Victoria.
It has 26 landing sites. However, about 18 of them were two years ago cut off by the suds forcing many fishermen to relocate to landing sites like Lusalira, Lubanja A and B in Mityana District, which are now affected by floods.
According to a report by the Fish Stock Assessment Team which was commissioned by the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI) in 2012, Lake Wamala has poor socio-economic infrastructure compared to other lakes in Uganda probably due to its geo-morphological setting.