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Entebbe Residents Divided over Proposed Relocation from L.Victoria Shores

Up to 174,000 people face eviction from the shores, mainly around the areas of Bugonga, Kigungu, and Lugonjo-Nakiwogo, which have been flooded as the lake reclaims its shoreline that was encroached on for several years.
Residents affected in Bukonko-Misoli village present views to the parliamentary Committee

Audio 4

Residents of Kigungu and Bugonga parishes in Entebbe Municipality have expressed mixed reactions about their impending relocation from the protected areas of Lake Victoria.  

Up to 174,000 people face eviction from the shores, mainly around the areas of Bugonga, Kigungu and Lugonjo-Nakiwogo, which have been flooded as the lake reclaims its shoreline that was encroached on for several years. 

Lake Victoria water levels have risen from 12 meters in October 2019 to 13.48 meters in May 2020, the highest level ever recorded in 50 years. This is a result of prolonged rainfall and excessive inflows from rivers into Lake Victoria that snakes across Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. 

As a result, the lake waters have submerged or destroyed homes, shops and other properties along the shores and beach lines. But some of the residents have told the Presidential Affairs Committee of Parliament that the lake has extended beyond the protected zone. 

The Committee chaired by Adjumani Woman MP Jessica Ababiku visited Bukonko-Misoli village in Kigungu and Bugonga landing site on Friday, to ascertain how many people have been affected by the rising water levels of Lake Victoria and work out possible solutions for the short and long term. 

Matia Nkalubo, the local council I chairperson for Bukonko-Misoli village says 78 households with about 400 people have been affected. However, most of them are willing to vacate with compensation. He cited two elders, Robert Otim, 68, who has stayed in the area since 1960 and 80 year- old Petero Bongole who have stated that the floods this time around have been more destructive than the ones of 1964 when the lake level rose to 13.41 meters. 

However, Mustapha Kakumba, one of the residents says the floods are temporary due to prolonged rains, and, as such, there is no need to relocate all affected people. 

//Cue in; "enkuba... 

Cue out...temporary."// 

Similarly, the people whose properties were destroyed at Bugonga landing site say they will not vacate the lake shores. The group led by Michael Mutebi, the chairperson of Entebbe Division, said they will not leave the shores because the lake has extended beyond the 200-meter buffer zone.

Mutebi accused some of the municipal council leaders and locals of conniving with a one Mahmoud Taban to capitalize on the current situation and evict people.   

//Cue in; "twandyetazeyo shelters 

cue out...egenda okuwulira."//   

Entebbe Municipal Mayor, Vincent Kayanja De Paul did not comment on the land grabbing claims but says there are several absentee-landlords in the affected areas within the municipality whose voice needs to be heard. 

Committee chairperson, Jessica Ababiku says legislators have noted the plight of the people including loss of livelihood and looming health issues such as the outbreak of cholera, malaria among others. She however says the majority of the affected people encroached on the lakeshores and therefore should be thinking about relocating.  

//Cue in; "There is laxity... 

Cue out.. the way they are."// 

Stanley Namayirira, the local council III Chairperson for Bugonga says the committee should also consider others areas such as the 1,500 residents of Lugonjo-Nakiwogo Village.