Uganda warns of rising water levels in lakes, rivers-Xinhua

Uganda warns of rising water levels in lakes, rivers

Source: Xinhua| 2024-05-14 21:09:45|Editor: huaxia

KAMPALA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Uganda issued a warning on Tuesday to communities living on lake shores and riverbanks, cautioning them about the increased water volume in those water bodies, which has reached worrying levels.

Minister of Water and Environment Sam Cheptoris told reporters that the water level of Lake Victoria, the country's largest lake shared with Kenya and Tanzania, has risen to its highest level. According to the minister, the water level in Lake Victoria has increased to 13.66 meters, up from 13.5 meters in 2020.

He said that Lake Victoria receives water from 23 rivers across the region, which are currently experiencing El Nino rains.

"These rivers originate from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and all the way from Burundi. So even when there is no rain here and it has rained elsewhere in those countries, Lake Victoria will still receive water," he said.

The minister noted that due to the high water level in the lake, the government was forced to release more water into the River Nile, which feeds into other lake basins, potentially causing floods there.

"We are appealing to all those people who are within the shores of lakes or the banks of the rivers to be very careful and try to avoid those areas," Cheptoris said.

Bariega Akankwasah, executive director of the National Environment Management Authority, the country's environmental watchdog, said that operations are underway to evict all those living on lake shores and river banks.

"We call upon Ugandans not to wait for what happened to our brothers and sisters in Kenya and Brazil," the official said. "We request all those living in wetlands to vacate immediately so that we can save lives and property," he added.