Uganda: Metals Pollute Lake Victoria - NWSC

13 November 2018

Kampala — National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has said they have set up a task force to monitor Lake Victoria daily because of the deteriorating quality of the water.

"We have set up a task force from KCCA, cleaner water production, ministry of Water and Environment and National Environment Management Authority to monitor pollution in four sites around Lake Victoria," the NWSC managing director, Dr Silver Mugisha, said.

Addressing journalists at their headquarters yesterday, Dr Mugisha, attributed the deterioration in water quality to the destruction of wetlands especially the Nakivubo Channel, which has led to the uncontrolled dumping of heavy metals and organic materials into the lake.

"Our aerial surveys show green water which is algae growing, making it expensive to treat the water because the run off goes directly into Lake Victoria because the papyrus reeds on Nakivubo Channel have been destroyed," Dr Mugisha said, adding that in some places, fish can no longer survive because of too much pollution.

According to Mr Samuel Apedel, the NWSC communications manager, three years ago the corporation was spending an the average of Shs500 million a month to treat water but the cost shot up to close to Shs1 billion per month.

Dr Rose Kaggwa, the director external services, explained that in order to ensure that Ugandans do not accumulate the heavy metals in their bodies, they are working with World Health Organisation and Uganda National Bureau of Standards, to test the quality of water daily because the humans get the heavy metals mainly through drinking water.

According to Dr Mugisha, the most common metals are Cadmium, Chromium, aluminium, mercury and lead which occur naturally in the environment but many end up in the water bodies because of poor disposal of electronic wastes.

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