KAMPALA – The River Rwizi catchment in Mbarara has over time been destroyed due to the overwhelming number of people around the water body, huge factories in it’s proximity rely on this water source as a major factor of production coupled with bad practices along the river banks.
In the bid to avert the situation, Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) has donated a whopping UGX 505 million to restore the natural resource.
This funding has been done in partnership with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWFN) as the implementing body and the Ministry of Water and Environment.
Speaking at a media engagement on Tuesday, August 13, at their premises in Luzira; Dr. Callist Tindimagaya the Director from Directorate of Water Resource Management from the Ministry of Water and Environment revealed that since 2011, the government realised that Uganda’s resources were receiving pressure yet they play an important role like providing raw materials for factories, a source revenue, water, employment among others yet they are not protected sustainably.
“Catchment committee with the users of the water were set up to dialogue and find remedies to address the matter has yielded results and over 500 hectares of wetlands were restored within the 11 districts where River Rwizi passes, introduced livelihood schemes, training and provided drinking water as an option,” he added.
He further appealed to other private sector players to join the noble cause so that a wider area is covered and sustainable measures are adopted.
Mr. Simon Weredwong, the Conservation Manager at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWFN) Uganda Country Office said;
“We are focusing on the conservation of water resources, food, energy and wildlife and guarantee you the highest level of results and after 4 months you will be invited to the site and witness the beginning of a long journey and as we strive to work on other parts of the country as well.”
Mr. Onapito Ekomoloit, Director Legal & Corporate Affairs remarked that the partnership with WWFN has been natural and long with a reflection of a dream of bringing people to a better world, and since water is a source of life then it manifests in the mandate of sustainability by 2025.
“All the water-stressed communities should be in the know that, we also have precision agriculture and recycling that feed into the water cycle. We pledge our commitment because I know our problem is not money but dedication and as one of the big taxpayers in the nation this is our role and this has been evident for the past six years in Mbarara.”
The phase will cover over 210 hectares in Kakigani next year and 800 households will be taught about alternative activities on the restoration of the river bank and management as well as forestation.