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Uganda warns of rising water levels in lakes, rivers

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  • The minister underscored that due to the lake’s heightened water level, the government has been compelled to release excess water into the River Nile, potentially triggering floods in other lake basins.
  • Speaking to the press, Minister of Water and Environment Sam Cheptoris highlighted that Lake Victoria, the nation’s largest lake shared with Kenya and Tanzania, has recorded its highest water level yet.

Uganda has issued a cautionary notice to communities residing along lake shores and riverbanks regarding the escalating water levels in these bodies of water, which have surged to concerning heights.

Speaking to the press, Minister of Water and Environment Sam Cheptoris highlighted that Lake Victoria, the nation’s largest lake shared with Kenya and Tanzania, has recorded its highest water level yet. Cheptoris disclosed that the lake’s water level now stands at 13.66 meters, a notable increase from 13.5 meters recorded in 2020.

Attributing this rise to the ongoing El Nino rains, Cheptoris pointed out that Lake Victoria receives inflows from 23 rivers spanning the region. These rivers originate from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and extend as far as Burundi. Therefore, precipitation in these countries contributes to Lake Victoria’s water volume, irrespective of local weather conditions.

The minister underscored that due to the lake’s heightened water level, the government has been compelled to release excess water into the River Nile, potentially triggering floods in other lake basins. Urging caution, Cheptoris appealed to residents residing near lakeshores or riverbanks to exercise vigilance and avoid these areas.

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Bariega Akankwasah, executive director of the National Environment Management Authority, emphasized ongoing efforts to relocate individuals living along lake shores and riverbanks. Akankwasah warned against complacency, citing the adverse outcomes witnessed in Kenya and Brazil. Urging prompt action, he called upon Ugandans residing in wetlands to vacate immediately to safeguard lives and property.

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