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Engineers Call For Advanced Lake Monitoring to Control Floods

Eng. Dr Seith Mugume noted that the rising and falling water levels are as a result of an imbalance created by several human-induced factors that affect water inflows and outflows from Lake Victoria.
Eng. Dr. Seith Mugume making his presentation before the Natural Resources committee

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Environmental Engineers from Makerere University have called for investment in advanced lake monitoring systems to control floods. 

A section of lecturers from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Makerere University led by senior lecturer Dr Robinah Kulabako made the recommendation before the Natural resources committee of Parliament.

They were presenting a scientific explanation for the rising water levels on Lake Victoria that have wreaked havoc across the lake basin causing flooding which has left several areas submerged. 

Eng. Dr Seith Mugume noted that the rising and falling water levels are as a result of an imbalance created by several human-induced factors that affect water inflows and outflows from Lake Victoria.

He pointed to the human-controlled outflows at the hydro dams of Nalubaale and Kira which are misaligned with the natural water release from the lake. 

He pointed to the main human factor affecting inflows as rapid urbanization along the river basin that creates changes in the hydrological patterns of water flow leading to increased velocity of water flowing to the lakes.

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Mugume advocated for the installation of a rainfall radar system to improve rainfall information. However the committee chairperson Keefa Kiwanuka raised a query on whether it was possible to rely on global sources for rainfall information.

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Dr Mugume clarified that the global systems use satellite feed which will not serve Uganda adequately, the radar system he says would provide more information with a better time resolution relating to rainfall in a given area thus improving the rainfall knowledge and forecasting.

He notes that the improved data collection would also remove the band of uncertainty relating to the forecasts provided by the National Meteorological Authority.

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He also pointed to the need for an automated system for collection of data on evaporation, wind and temperature on the lake to enable more detailed studies.

The Aswa County MP Reagan Okumu noted that it would be helpful to create a bridge between the lecturers and the Water Ministry since the experts have more information and solutions to the problem.

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