todayOctober 4, 2023

By Ojok Robert Mone

Gulu City

Uganda walkers’ association is championing the activism to protect Nile waters against pollution and encroachment. The 700-kms walk started from Uganda-South Sudan Border town of Elegu in Amuru district last week.
They will walk through the districts that share boundaries with the river up to Jinja to sensitize members of the communities on the significance of this longest river in the whole world ahead of 2023 Nile Basin Development Forum to be hosted in Uganda starting next week.

Geoffery Ayeni president Uganda Walkers Association and staff in Gulu City
Geoffery Ayeni the president of Uganda Walkers Association said the walk shall cover 13-districts of Amuru, Nwoya, Oyam, Apac, Amolatar, Nakasongola, Kayunga, Wakiso, Jinja and finally Kampala among others.
“With the current global campaigns to end fossil fuels, River Nile is very significant as it has three different electricity generation points to supply electricity as substitute for fossil fuel”, Ayeni remarked. Ayeni added that more than two hundred million people depend on River Nile that has its source in Uganda.
One of the walkers Dansan Ocoo, who is a resident of Lira city says River Nile houses sensitive ecosystems like game parks, fertile soils, waterfalls and tropical vegetation.  “The community members are central in Protecting Nile River because of its significance like tourism potentials, Arable soils and abundant water for irrigation,” Ocoo noted.

Kungu landing site on River Nile in Apac District
A professor of waters at Makerere University Dr. Were David expressed concern about the increased pollution around Lake Victoria which poses threats to Nile water being the source.
Dr. Were noted that Murchison Bay water just like other areas has now turned greenish making it hazardous for humans and other Aquatics because of the unregulated human activities.  
Senior Water Officer from Ministry of water and Environment Joseph Odongo said that despite of many industries discharging waste water in the Nile affecting biodiversity, people are not respecting buffer zones.  “We are putting in place a number of interventions to protect the River Nile among others catchment boundary planning gearing towards reducing challenges of pollution.
The gradual spread of plant and animal domestication throughout the Nile valley associated with widespread deforestation, accelerated soil erosion and an exponential increase in the human population have been identified as threats to its existence.
Eleven countries such as Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda share the river.
The Nile Basin is home to approximately 257 million people, while some 487 million live within the eleven riparian states.
Nile Basin Development Forum was first held in 2006, and the 7th Forum shall take place in Kampala from October 16th – 18th, 2023, under the theme: Deepening Nile Cooperation: Accelerating the Achievements of SDGs in a Changing Climate with a call for urgent need to implement structural and non-structural measures to build the resilience of the Nile Basin to towards  addressing the impacts of climate change.

COVER PHOTO: Part of Murchison Falls National Game Park in Tangi village, Nwoya district By Ojok Robert Mone

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