Nakasongola, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | More than 500 people in Nakasongola District who were displaced by floods have resettled along the shorelines of Lake Kyoga.
Two years ago, water levels at Lake Kyoga rose, submerging shorelines, swamps, and flood plains and displacing over 2000 households.
Lake Kyoga is estimated to have exceeded the highest historical water level of 13.2 meters and as such shorelines, swamps, and flood plains experienced high water levels.
However, two years later after surviving the tragedy, water levels have decreased forcing residents to resettle along the same shorelines.
The victims have resettled on shorelines along landing sites of Moone, Kabaala, Busone, Lwampanga, Nninga , Ttumba, Muwunami, and Kachanga among others on Lake Kyoga.
Richard Miiro Kigayavu the district councilor for Nabiswera sub-county explains that the people who resettled on shorelines have been occupying camps and others renting land but they couldn’t afford it any longer.
Miiro adds that the same people were promised free land at Kyarubanga Forest Reserve but the process is moving at a snail pace and they have lost hope forcing them to return on shores for survival.
Miiro says that the residents have constructed temporary structures on shorelines but unfortunately they don’t have toilets which may lead to disease outbreaks.
“We, therefore, appeal to the Office of Prime Minister to walk the talk and relocate the affected people to safe areas. These people have suffered enough and they need help” Miiro said.
Sam Kigula, the LCV Chairperson Nakasongola says that some of the affected residents claim that they have resettled away from the recommended 200 meters of the lake shores
He says that no person should dare return to the shores for their own safety.
Kigula says that they have asked police officers not to allow people to resettle in areas that had been submerged by water.
Bernard Kirya Ssekyanzi, the Budyebo County Member of Parliament says that they have embarked on a process of identifying another piece of land to relocate the affected people so that they don’t return to shorelines.
Ssekyanzi adds that recently he received a letter from Patrick Ssetuba a landlord who has been hosting over 1,000 people at Kabaala landing site demanding money or relocation of the people.
Ssekyanzi explained that he persuaded him to give them time as they look for alternative land where they can relocate and settle them there permanently.
Last year, Beatrice Anywar the State Minister for Environment visited some of the landing sites and ordered the affected people to vacate them to safer areas with immediate effect.
Anywar also rejected a request to relocate the victims to Kyarubanga forest reserve saying this will worsen the already existing climate change.
On Sunday, President Yoweri Museveni reiterated his warning against people who are encroaching on Lakeshores, wetlands, and riverbanks saying they will be evicted without compensation.