Uganda: Agriculture Ministry Told to Clean Up Lake Victoria

Kampala — The Ministry of Water and Environment has directed the Agriculture minister to clean up Lake Victoria and Luzira Landing Site that is littered with decomposing material exposing residents to a filthy stench.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr Sam Cheptoris, the Environment minister, said he visited the landing site last week following complaints from residents about the stench.

The locals said the stench poses a health risk to their lives and that the pollution of the lake has killed the water hyacinth which is now rotting and causing algae to multiply in the area.

"My experts told me that there is excessive pollution of the lake resulting from rubbish being dumped in the lake. This has killed the water hyacinth which has started rotting and when it rots, it produces methane gas," he said.

When this newspaper visited the landing site yesterday, a greater part of the pier where boats dock was filthy with patches of water hyacinth with a greenish, creamy layer of water which filled the area.

Mr Ronald Balimwezo Nsubuga, the Nakawa Division mayor, said he was forced to take the Environment minister to the site after residents complained of maggots in the rotting material.

According to Mr Ahmad Sendagire, a fisherman, who has been trading in the area for the last 10 years, previously the landing site users were managing it until Kampala Capital City Authority took over the management.

Mr Nsubuga said the Luzira Landing Site is owned by ministry of Agriculture, ministries of Works, Water and Environment and KCCA which is there to regulate the businesses.

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