By SANTO OJOK
More than 200 households have been displaced in Nakasongola District after Lake Kyoga burst its shoreline on Monday, local leaders have said.
The flash floods displaced residents in Kapala, Busoni, Sukurio, Musenyi and Moone villages in Katuba Parish, Nabiswera Sub-county.
Gardens along the shoreline have also been swept, sparking fear among authorities that the community will suffer food shortage since it mainly depends on subsistence farming.
Mr Richard Okecha, the vice chairperson of Moone Village, said the water had encroached on the mainland for about one kilometre.
“Water is coming out of the lake daily and so far many people have run away from their homes. Some are running to their relatives, others are sleeping under trees in a dry place,” he said.
Mr Okecha said the village, which has a population of more than 500 people, is at risk of cholera outbreak since drinking water has been contaminated.
“Water which people are using for consumption is contaminated with faeces from pit-latrines submerged by water,” he added.
Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 485,000 diarrhoeal deaths each year, according to World Health Organisation.
Mr Fred Ogwal, one of the affected, said he had lost his crops.
“My houses and gardens have been submerged, and my family members are being accommodated in a single room given to me by a friend,” he said.
Mr David Sserubombe, the Nabiswera Sub-county chairperson, said the affected households are suffering because they had encroached on the lakeshores.
“The affected areas are not far from the lake; that is the effect of encroaching on the lakeshores,” he said, adding that would find a place to resettle them.
Mr Sserubombe appealed to government to provide food relief and insecticide treated mosquito nets to the affected households.
Water levels on the rise
In the past weeks, the Ministry of Water and Environment reported an increase in water levels in Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga, among others following the rainy season.
On Sunday, President Museveni, in his address on updates about Covid-19, asked people who built or are cultivating along the Lake Victoria shores to vacate peacefully before the National Environment Management Authority forces them out.