KABAROLE – The Omukama of Tooro Oyo Nyimba Iguru IV has rallied his subjects to support efforts to save River Mpanga in Kabarole district.
River Mpanga which runs through three districts of Kabarole, Kyenjojo and Kamwenge flows from Rwenzori Mountain to Lake George.
The river which is the longest in the area has been drying up due to increased human activity like the construction of permanent houses and car washing bays on its banks and sand mining among others.
While launching the campaign dubbed “Save River Mpanga” on Saturday, the King expressed fear that the river is being eaten away due to human activities. He joined hundreds of his subjects to pick garbage out of the river and also planted trees around it as a way of conserving the environment. The king noted that protecting Mpanga from any form of degradation is everyone’s responsibility and asked the subjects to embrace the campaign. During the launch, silt that was on the river banks was scooped out, bushes in and around the river cleared, and garbage that had blocked water from flowing was also removed. Tungakwo said the same will be done across the whole river, from its starting point up Lake George.
He said now is the time that everyone in the kingdom wakes up to save the river.
The campaign as one of the kingdom’s environment conservation strategy.
The king recently launched a 10M tree planting campaign aimed at combating drought that has been affecting the kingdom following massive destruction of wetlands and trees.
Mr Patrick Baguma, the Executive Director of Joint Efforts to Save the Environment (JESE), a local NGO dealing in environment conservation in the Rwenzori region, says that a River Management Plan has been formulated to protect the river.
Mr Baguma says that the plan involves setting up income generating projects like beekeeping for farmers, which will discourage them from engaging in projects that will destroy the river. He also says that fibrous root trees will be planted to protect the river banks and sub-county leaders will be sensitized about the need to protect the natural resources. Mr Asaba Ruyonga, the Mayor Fort Portal Municipality, says that two washing bays will be set up in the municipality to stop people from washing cars in the river banks.