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L. Kijjanebarola Fails To Reappear Amidst Persistent Rainfall

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According to the affected residents and local leaders, their hope for the lake to return has reduced since the water has kept on diminishing. They say that more than 50 cows and 40 pigs have died due to lack of water.
A resident showing a dry area where the lake occupied previously.

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A portion of Lake Kijjanebarola in Kyalulangira sub-county-Rakai district, which mysteriously vanished in May this year, has failed to reappear even with the current torrential rainfall.  It is nearly eight months since the incident left the surrounding communities including Kalunga landing site, Nkundi, Lwambajjo, Lugenda, Kawenda, Namunengo, Kigavu, Kisovu, and Lusambya villages in a critical water crisis.  

An area measuring more than seven to 10 football fields that was left vacant has turned into a grazing ground and farmland.  The remaining water body is too shallow. Its depth is below the knee that some residents can walk through it. 

According to the affected residents and local leaders, their hope for the lake to return has reduced since the water has kept on diminishing. They say that more than 50 cows and 40 pigs have died due to lack of water.     

Madina Nansereko, a resident of Nkundi village, says they cannot access clean and safe water for domestic use and animal consumption as they used to. She says that the remaining small water body was restricted for fishing and water collection by the district fisheries authorities, which worsened the situation leading to the death of several animals.     

//Cue in: “Obulumi twatandika………………  

  

Cue out: …………………osibirawo ewuzi.”//   

Nansereko says that amid the plight, the local leaders have not returned to meet them to find a solution for the existing water problem.       

//Cue in: “Ate nabakulembeze………………     

Cue out: …………………tewali yakomawo.”//          

Patrick Mande, a resident of Kalunga landing site, says that they currently buy water from vendors, which they cannot sustain for a long time since their daily earnings have also been reduced.  He appealed to the district authorities and Apollo Ssansa Kabumbuli II, the leader of Kooki Cultural Institution, to intervene and rescue the situation.     

 

//Cue in: “Enyanja yagenda………………      

Cue out: ……………eyatuukako wano”//    

According to Judith Nabisere, their suffering started two days after the lake disappeared to date. She used to cook food for the fishermen most of whom left the landing site a month after the lake vanished. Nabisere explains that she lost six pigs due to lack of water, adding that she is living a desperate life with two orphans.    

//Cue in: “Era enyanja yagenda……………

   

Cue out: ………kyanatuyambako naffe.”//    

Jonathan Mugumya, a fisherman who remained at Kalunga landing site, says that their district leadership has abandoned them in time of need and no one has responded to their plight. He says that the miserable situation will remain until the district authorities, the government, and well-wishers intervene and install water projects such as boreholes, taps, or water tanks for them.    

//Cue in: “Teri yajja………..……………    

Cue out: ………tuyambe, tutaase.”//     

According to Bashir Kaggwa, the Chairman- Lwambajjo A village, several residents have relocated to other communities with their livestock where they can access water.  He explains that the lake was the major source of livelihood for hundreds of residents in several communities until when the opportunity ended.      

//Cue in: “Abantu basenguse………..…     

Cue out: ……………….nga tugiwagira.”//     

Samuel Kaggwa Ssekamwa, the Rakai District LC 5 Chairman, told URN that they are aware of the situation in the affected communities adding that they are still lobbying to ensure that communities get clean and safe water.  He noted that the lake vanished at the time when the district was financially incapacitated and unable to support the affected residents in one way or another.     

//Cue in: “Nze kulwange………..…    

Cue out: …………..wezinywera.”//     

The Area MP-Boaz Ninsiima Kasirabo, says that they are lobbying for the construction of dams in the affected villages to supply water for domestic use and animal consumption.  He pledged to meet with the prime minister over the same concern, adding that the delayed interventions have led to more suffering of his electorates.       

//Cue in: “Nze kulwange………..…     

Cue out: …………..wezinywera.”//

However, Johnex Musanje, a local environmentalist, says it is the second time the lake is disappearing after a similar incident in 1997. He explains that in May, the increasing flash floods caused too much pressure on the existing papyrus vegetation, forced it out of the way and created a channel that took the water away. 

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