Uganda: Rising Water Levels in Lake Kyoga Worry Serere Residents

Residents and leaders in Serere District have expressed concern over the rising water levels in Lake Kyoga which have submerged a number of roads.

The acting Serere District engineer, Mr Simon Peter Emesu, said six roads connecting to different sub-counties have been washed away.

These include Omagara, Agonyo road, which links Kidetok Town Council to Kateta Sub-county with approximately two kilometres submerged in water.

The others include Papai-Opunui Road which connects Labwor to Bugondo sub-counties, which has been submerged under water for two kilometres, Atiira-Kamod Road via Akoboi which connects Atiira Sub-county to Bugondo Sub-county, and Kamod-Kabola Road which connects Kabulabula to Kagwara port.

During a monitoring exercise of the affected areas last week, the assistant engineer in charge of roads in Serere District, Mr John Robert Egonu, said: "The small culverts [on the roads] couldn't handle the volumes of water, they have given way and we need to plan a fresh one."

At Acumia Swamp on Kateta-Pingire Road and Omagara-Agonyo Road, which links Kidetok and Kateta sub-counties, travellers use boats to cross the flooded sections.

Each traveller is charged Shs1,000 while those with the luggage pay between Shs2,000 and Shs3,000 depending on the load.

Mr Egongu said due to meager resources, they cannot afford to fix the roads at the moment.

"We have the engineering knowledge but it calls for some reasonable money for us to put it into play," he said.

The Serere LC5 chairperson, Mr Stephen Ochola, said several calls to fix the roads have been made by community members but their hands are tied due to limited resources.

However, he pledged to lobby for government's support to ensure that all road network challenges are fixed.

He said besides roads, more than 2,000 crop fields near to the lake have been submerged and destroyed.

Mr George Adakun, a resident of Odapakol Village, said the floods have made it difficult to access health facilities.

"We face it hard to transport some patients, especially the pregnant mothers and those suffering from Covid-19," he said.

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