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Reuse waste water to curb climate change disasters

Shavel makes his presentation in Entebbe

In Israel:
➡ 90% of the water used is reused
➡ 38% of the country’s agriculture uses water from sewage to water crops
➡ 90% of the country’s agriculture depends on reused water

Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Israel is a desert country, but it is one of the leading producers of fresh fruits and vegetables in the world. Uganda is arguably one of the most endowed countries in the world, but some regions are water-stressed and citizens often experience protracted dry spells.

This stark reminder was once again brought to the fore when Joseph Shavel, President of Galilee Management Institute delivered a keynote address yesterday at the Uganda Water and Environment Week. His address was centred on UWEWK’s theme of Blue Economy and SDGs.

Shavel said that if Uganda is to avoid the disasters related to climate change, there is need to use water resources more efficiently, by first of all reusing waste water for agricultural and industrial production. He called for the introduction of technologies that can facilitate reuse of waste water. He said that Uganda is well endowed with many water resources like lakes, rivers and forests but if they are not managed well, the country is headed for difficult times.

Citing African countries currently embroiled in conflict, Shavel observed that climate change and related effects is responsible for some of the conflicts now afflicting the continent.

Joseph Shavel receives a plaque from the PS Ministry of Water Okidi Okot, in appreciation of his keynote address at the ongoing Water and Environment Week in Entebbe

“Because of climate change most countries like Nigeria, Somalia and Darfur in western Sudan have security problems,” he said, adding that Uganda could easily end the same way. He said that Ugandans should not take nature for granted and cited the example of Lake Chad in Chad which disappeared due to effects of climate change. He warned that Lake Victoria could easily disappear too!

With further emphasis on recycling and reusing waste water, Shavel gave the example of Israel where 90% of wastewater is reused for agriculture. He also quoted the example of Egypt where sewerage effluent is also reused for agriculture.

He further advised that government should adopt a policy where each house is required to install solar power to reduce the amount of water used in generating hydroelectricity. He recommended that most of these projects can be undertaken by private sector actors since they carry out a lot of research and development regularly.

Shavel called for the establishment of a Water Authority to plan, develop, supply preserve and regulate water resources. “If we want to preserve water we need a water authority.”

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SOURCE: UWEWK newsletter

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