Mbarara runs out water as R. Rwizi silts over human activities
Officials from National Water and Sewerage Cooperation are in a state of quagmire and a catastrophic one due to the continued drastic silting of River Rwizi which is their main source of water thus causing shortages in water supply.
According to Profilio Tebandeke the Senior Water Quality Officer at the water Plant located in Ruharo ward in Mbarara Municipality next to R. Rwizi, expressed his fear on the reduced tides of water for the last five years, he attributed this to the human activities which are being carried out on the buffer zones of the River like farming, sand mining which he said has redirected the course of the river and changed the quality of water.
“For the last Five years we have experienced a challenge of reduced volumes of water on this river, since it’s the only source we have in Mbarara, we have realized that a lot of activities are being carried out on this river and people have not been evicted, to free the catchment area, the course of the river has been redirected to the fact that when it rains all the run offs from hills is drained not the river, with soil thus causing silting” Tibandeka told Mbarara News on Tuesday in an interview.
On the quality of water, he opined that they have experienced dramatic quality deterioration of the water quality which has hiked the cost of purifying it. “for the last 10 years, the cost of treating water has continued to go high, we would use one bag of Aluminum sulphate which is equivalent to 50kg to treat water, but apparently we use five bags daily to ensure that the quality is maintained, the water levels have reduced completely so if nothing is done to this effect then we are taking a none palatable direction, like now it’s a dry spell, the water levels are low completely, we don’t have water to supply, because in these years Mbarara has had over fiver factories being put up all these depend on water from this river, like Diary farms they produce waste in bulk and some discharge their waste in the ecological system”
It should be noted that early this year towards the February elections when the president had his rally in Mbarara, he warned all those who have settled on river Rwizi to be evicted and instructed the Municipal officials to effect his orders.
Last week, officials from NEMA, Ministry of water and Mbarara Municipal council officials led by Town clerk Johnson Baryantuma Munono sat at the council hall and made resolutions among which was to start demarcating those in the buffer zone 300meters from the river, Munono said that all those affected should evict themselves before the municipal enforcement team comes down because they are implementing the directive of the president.
According to Amina Naluyima the information officer Mbarara Municipal council when contacted for a comment revealed to us that they have already started demarcating and putting up marks on which they will base on to evict encroachers.
“As am talking, every thing is in high gear to ensure that River Rwizi is restored, and enough water is generated for the people of Mbarara and other areas”