MBARARA-Mbarara Municipality leaders have urged residents to protect River Rwizi from contamination and degradation.
Human activities such as; washing, cultivation, industrial waste and others have led to degradation and poor sanitation along the river.
Over 500 residents have been mobilised by their division leaders to remove the water hyacinth in a week-long exercise since July 18, 2019.
The Nyamitanga Division Chairperson, Moses Karanzi Kajubi said that they decided to reach out to the residents after the government took so long to react to the water weed.
“We are doing this because the money that the central government had budgeted for the work two years ago has not yet come. If we leave the river to government, we shall lose it; so we said let’s start and the government will find us somewhere,’’ Mr Kajubi explained.
He added saying that they are also fighting the tendency of neglecting all the work to NEMA (National Environment Management Authority) and the relevant ministries.
Mr Kajubi further reported that the idea was conceived last year from Kisumu in Kenya – an area that had a similar challenge – as they toured the area under Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Cooperation arrangement.
“Division chairpersons in Mbarara municipality visited Kisumu and we found that they had a similar problem. The remedy was to involve the locals; they pulled out the weed, put it at the lake shores and cut it. We said we can also sensitise our people to solve the problem and today, it has started working,’’ he said.
The Chairman of Kiswahili cell in Kakoba Division, Francis Basiime narrated that the river has been infested by the hyacinth since 2011.