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Rising Water Levels on Lake Victoria Disrupt Transport to Kalangala

Authorities are considering suspending ferry services to Kalangala Islands over rising water levels on Lake Victoria.

Over the last three months, many shores of Lake Victoria in Kalungu, Masaka, Kalangala, Entebbe, Wakiso and Kampala have been submerged, displacing hundreds of people. 

According to Alex Tuhaye, the Captain of MV Pearl, one of the ferries managed by Kalangala Infrastructure services (KIS), increasing water levels are likely to force the company to suspend services since the docking piers are submerged in water thus affecting smooth landing of the ferries at Bukakkata pier.

Currently, both ferries – MV Pearl and MV Ssese  have no permanent docking points as sometimes passengers disembark from the nearby swamp towards the main gate to the pier as the main docking pier was abandoned a month ago.

On Friday, the government raised concern over the flooding on the lake, which it attributed to encroachment on river banks.

Dr Callist Tindimugaya, the water resources specialist in-charge of Lake Victoria management at the Ministry of Water and Environment, in an earlier interview said the lake is refilling its parts where it had receded from.

“When it rains, all the rain water from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo comes into Lake Victoria and it does not come in one day. It travels through Kabale, Kagera, Ibanda, Ntungamo, Buhweju, which does not take one day,” he said, warning that encroachers should expect the water to invade them because it is reclaiming the place where it used to be.

“The wetlands which used to control the rate of water flow into the lake have been degraded and now the water is annoyed. It wants to reclaim its place and these are low lying lands compared to Lake Albert which has a steep gradient,” he said.

Dr Tindimugaya added that the floods could get worse due to the rains and increasing inflows from mainly River Kagera and other rivers that pour water into Lake Victoria.

Tindimugaya explained that water levels of 1964 were over 13 metres compared to the levels recorded in February at 12.9 metres and 12.8 metres last month.

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