Environment

Fear as Lake Bunyonyi Shrinks

Lake Bunyonyi is said to be under major threat from people

Environmentalists and tourism stakeholders in Kigezi sub region are troubled by expert findings that Lake Bunyonyi, pill which is considered to be the second deepest late in Africa is shrinking fast.

Experts say the lake, which is 2,953 feet (900 meters) deep, has lost an estimated 1.2 meters of its waters.

Lake Bunyonyi is one of the top tourism revenue earners for government; but experts say it is now under serious threat from human activity.

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To blame, the experts say, are the poor farming methods by the locals leading to soil erosion, and local government’s inaction.

One of these is Milton Kwesiga, the executive director Disaster Reduction Research and Emergency Missions, an NGO operating in Kabale and Rubanda Districts aiming at reducing community vulnerability to climate change induced disasters.

He says the reduction of Lake Bunyonyi’s waters is a clear call for action.

Engineer Nicholas Byengoma, another environmental activist and proprietor of Arcadia Cottages that neighbours the lake, says that decrease of Lake Bunyonyi depth by 1.2 meters will not only negatively affect the environment and tourism industry but also its rich aquatic life.

He called upon Kabale and Rubanda District leaders to sensitize locals on controlling soil erosion.

Byengoma says he and other hotel owners have started planting Chrysopogon zizanioides, commonly known as Vetiver grass which helps to stabilize soil and protects it against erosion.

Jogo Kenneth Biryabarema, the Rubanda District Chairperson while commenting on the matter, said the district is aware of the fate of lake.

He revealed however, that the district recently resolved to start an initiative of planting sugarcane along the lake to control erosion.

 

 

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