The Egyptian Government has given Uganda 1.5 million dollars to clear the floating islands on Lake Victoria.
The increasing water levels on the lakes have detached large chunks of land and vegetation from the mainland causing several floating islands also known as suds, to make their way down stream on the River Nile.
These floating islands have affected hydropower generation, bridges, ship ways and landing sites in different parts of the country.
While officially launching the exercise of clearing the floating islands on Lake Victoria in Jinja, the Minister of State for Fisheries Helen Adoa revealed that the Egyptian Government has given Uganda 1.5m dollars to clear the floating weeds.
“I cannot forget our long term friends, the Egyptians who have supported Uganda with equipment and capacities in weed control since 1999. In the next one year, the Arab Republic of Egypt will be supporting Uganda with 1.5 million dollars to control weeds on our lakes and develop 2 landing sites,” said Adoa.
The floating islands started moving in the second week of April 2020 with one reaching Nalubaale dam in Jinja causing a countrywide power blackout.
At the beginning of the operations to clear floating islands on 14th April, there was more than 100 acres of floating weeds in Port bell alone and over 20 acres in Jinja.
Adoa highlighted the immediate efforts taken to clear the floating weeds at Nalubaale hydropower dam.
“We deployed heavy equipment at Nalubaale dam including 2 long arm excavators (17 metres long), 3 two tons dump trucks, 2 self-loading trucks, 1 barge, 1 fisheries research vessel and 1 ferry from Ministry of Works and Transport for safety at Nalubaale dam,” she said.
Adoa added that a total of 30 acres of weeds have been harvested in Jinja areas of Nalubaale dam, Masese, Kirinya and Wairaka.
At Port bell on the other hand, the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) deployed equipment (2 barges, 1 harvester, 1 ferry, 2 excavators and 2 self-loading trucks) to also clear the floating island.