KAMPALA — The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries has embarked on demolition of a 100 hectare floating Island at Port Bell Luzira in Nakawa Division, Kampala.
Ms Hellen Adoa, the state minister for fisheries, told journalists on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, that current rising water levels on Ugandan lakes and rivers are forcing Islands to detach from the mainland into the lakes.
“Today we started demolishing a floating island of 100 hectares which had drifted to Port Bell Luzira. On 14th April we had another 10 acres Floating Island which drifted downstream to Nalubaale dam from Masese. We have several islands which are detaching from various parts of the country near lakes,” she said.
She cited Bunjako bay in Mpigi, Kalungu, Sango bay in Kyotera and River Kagera as places where islands are posing a threat of reinfecting the Nalubaale dam adding that in Lake Kyoga, the heavy loads of weed mats including the Kariba weed, are threatening to block Kokooge and Moore landing sites like they did in 1998 and 2000 explaining that the islands are getting detached due the current surging water which is affecting breeding places for fish especially the Nile perch and wafer tea sport.
Yesterday, the Ministry together with Uganda Police, Uganda National Roads Authority, Eskom, national agriculture research organization, ministry of water and environment and ministry of defence started demolishing the island which had drifted Luzira.
Plus Wakabi Kasajja, the permanent secretary Ministry of Agriculture, said they have put in place an operational plan linked to the national intervention plans with the following control strategies;
Equipment deployed at the Nalubale Dam included; Two Long Arm Excavator – 17 m long, three – two Tons Dump Trucks, two self-loading trucks, one Barge, one Fisheries Research Vessel, one ferry from Ministry of Works and Transport with objective to harvest any remains of weeds/suds for the safety of Nalubale dam. About 10 hectares of weeds still exist in the Jinja area.
Equipment has been deployed at Port bell (Two barges, one harvester, one ferry, two excavators and two self-loading trucks, one more ferry from Ministry of Works and Transport) and breaking the floating weeds into small masses. The objective is to harvest existing weed masses so as to avert a threat in case of floating weeds escaping to the dam or moving to landing sites. So far about 30hectares of weed have been harvested at the dam.
He added that Four drone based imagery surveys have been conducted in Murchison Bay (port bell) and one in Jinja area with the objective of keeping a close watch on the floating islands movements and guide machine deployment to right targets; and UPDF surveillance/monitoring team on the ground.