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Kadaga wants water bodies managed better

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has directed the Ministry of Water and Environment to rein in on encroachers of water bodies in the country.

Kadaga reiterated the President’s remarks about people living around water bodies, who cultivate land up to 50 metres into the lakes and rivers.

“By law, land spanning 50 metres from a water body into the shoreline is not supposed to be tampered with but we see time and again locals doing the exact opposite,” she said.

The Speaker was launching the Catchment Management Plans and Water Management Strategy Project of the Upper Nile and Kyoga regions. The function was held at Hotel Africana, Kampala on Wednesday, 19 December 2018.

Kadaga noted the lack of policy implementation in the management of the environment by the Ministry. She said the mind-set of people needs to be realigned with sensitivity to water as a resource.

“People do not know how to utilise rain water; you will find people waiting for the rain to subside so that they can go to the well instead of collecting the rain water,” she said.

The Commissioner Water Resources Planning and Regulation, Dr. Callist Tindimugaya, said that many of the 17 goals under the SDGs require water to be supported, so there is need to manage water properly.

“We need to track the movement of water so that we can utilize it properly. Towns are growing, so we need to manage water through catchment management organizations,” he said.

The project involves preparing water catchment management plans for five water catchment regions in Uganda. These include Victoria Nile, Aswa, Mpologoma, Awoja and Albert Nile catchment areas.

Tindimugaya said that there is a proposed integrated water management and development project funded by World Bank to a tune of US$270 million to make sure that such water catchment areas are implemented.

The Minister of Water and Environment, Hon. Sam Cheptoris, said implementation of catchment based management system is stakeholder driven and the responsibility of the Ministry is facilitation and coordination.

“We should all work together with the locals to make sure this project is properly implemented,” Cheptoris said.

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SOURCE: Uganda Parliament media

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