Residents and officials in Nakasongola District are expressing worries about a recent incident involving the release of toxic waste into local water channels. The contaminated water flows into Lake Kyoga, which is a vital resource for over 60 percent of Nakasongola’s residents.
The issue revolves around the suspected contamination of the Lubenge wetland, which is connected to the River Lugogo and River Kafu basins. These rivers directly feed into Lake Kyoga, a crucial source of livelihood for the local population.
The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has instructed the responsible party, Victoria Sugar Ltd, to halt production and clean up the wetland. However, residents report witnessing dead fish, snakes, and frogs in the water channels, raising concerns about the safety of Lake Kyoga.
The Lake Kyoga Integrated Management Organisation (LAKIMO), which represents 16 districts sharing Lake Kyoga’s waters, is deeply troubled by the ongoing contamination of the Kafu and Lugogo rivers, which flow into the lake.
Nakasongola District Council’s Speaker, Mr. Rogers Sunday Bwanga, shares these concerns, emphasizing the importance of taking immediate action to address the pollution issue.
Nema, during an inspection at Lubenge wetland, issued a stop notice for Victoria Sugar Limited’s activities until they establish a waste management facility. Nema’s legal team is also reviewing available information to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Local communities, whose livelihoods depend on Lake Kyoga and the wetlands, fear for their safety and that of their livestock. Reports of fish and other aquatic creatures dying due to contamination have raised alarms among residents.
Mr. Joseph Oluka, an engineering assistant at Victoria Sugar Ltd, stated that the company is addressing concerns with Nema but did not provide further details.