Climate change activists and Buganda Kingdom officials have
rallied residents of Kigungu and Ndese landing sites in Entebbe
municipality to remove plastic waste in and around the Lake Victoria shoreline. The team visited the two landing site this to interact with residents and encourage
them to remove waste, especially plastics, from and around the lake.
The kingdom officials include Robert Buwembo, the Kigungu
Parish Chief and Erone Vero Bubye, the Busiro Gombolola Chief while the climate
change activists and Rotary Mariners were led by John Mary Odoi, the chairperson
Board of Directors Climate Action Network Uganda.
Odoi explains that the cleanup exercise is part of the
activities lined up for the UN Clean Seas Campaign and the Uganda Water and
Environment Week 2021. The UN campaign is being implemented by Flipflopi, the
first recycled plastic sailing dhow made entirely from ten tones of plastic waste collected
during the beach cleanup along the Kenyan coast.
Flipflopi’s first expedition around Lake Victoria aims
at bringing regional consensus on ending unnecessary single-use of
plastics, raising awareness on the need to conserve waterways, protect
livelihoods and save the environment. Over 40 million people depend on Lake
The expedition is supported by the governments of Tanzania,
Kenya and Uganda, UN agencies led by the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), the European Union, French Development Agency (AFD) and UK’s Foreign
Commonwealth and Development Office.
The dhow set off from Lamu in Kenya to Zanzibar in Tanzania and arrived at
Kisumu on March 3rd, 2021. It is expected to sail into Uganda on
March 11th and leave on March 22nd, 2021. It will first arrive at
Lolui Island, then move to Buvuma Island, Jinja sailing club, Katosi, Ggaba Beach
Kigungu landing site and finally Banda Island.
Odoi says the team moved along the beaches in Kigungu to raise awareness about
the cleanup exercise. The team also asked the traders and residents,
mostly fishermen and boat operators, why the lake shores and the lake have waste such as plastic bags commonly known as buvera, bottles, cups,
plates and human waste.
However, some residents couldn’t have any of this, saying
that the team gave the impression that they are the ones responsible for polluting
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Bubye told the residents that the team was on a fact-finding mission on the
source of pollution, the extent of pollution and degradation urge people to clean
up the lake.
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Bubye told Uganda Radio Network-URN that Buganda Kingdom is supporting the
expedition because the Nabagereka (Queen) Sylvia Nagginda has a Programme of
cleaning up the lake.
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Robert Buwembo says the kingdom has been liaising with local leaders to clean
up communities and discourage people from washing and bathing in the lake.
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Odoi says Ndese Landing site residents also dump plastics and other waste into
the lake. He noted that the landing site with over 800 residents has inadequate
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Some of the people, particularly those who reside at Ndese landing site, say
some of them have nowhere to bathe from or even sleep. The people including
60-year-old Robert Kiwanuka, say they were among the 500 people displaced
from Makusa, the sinking island, five years ago and settled at Ndese landing
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Medi Kayidali, a social worker and Kigungu resident urges
the government and well-wishers to help them set up shelters and relief
items such as food, clothes, blankets and funds to buy the recommended boats
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Odoi says the team will thereby forward these people’s plea
to the local authorities and the central government.