River Mpanga Management Plan Reduces Encroachment

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In short
John Ruyonga, the head Kabarole District Natural Resources Department says the implementation of the River Mpanga Management plan has gone a long way to protect the river from encroachment.

There is reduced encroachment on River Mpanga following the implementation of the of River Mpanga Management plan. River Mpanga draws water from the Rwenzori Mountains and flows over a distance of about 200 kilometers.
 
 

It flows through Kabarole, Kamwenge and Kyenjojo districts and discharges its water into Lake George.  Last year, the three districts signed the River Mpanga Management plan to protect the river from destruction. River Mpanga has in the past burst its banks and left a trail of destruction in Fort portal due to uncontrolled human activities.
 

 
Some of the human activities include cultivation on the river banks and establishment of washing bays leading to silting and discharge of oils into the river respectively. However, statistics from Kabarole District Natural Resources Department shows that encroachment has reduced from 70 to 20 percent in the past one year due to the implementation of the management plan. 

 
 
The River Mpanga Management plan provides for the establishment of local environment committees, planting trees near the river banks and enforcement of environmental bye-laws.  Local environment committees have been established and hundreds of trees plant on the river banks to control silting.
 
 

The toilets at Mpanga market that were erroneously built on the river banks have since been demolished. John Ruyonga, the head Kabarole District Natural Resources Department says the implementation of the River Mpanga Management plan has gone a long way to protect the river from encroachment.
 
 
  
He explains more than 70 people have been punished for encroaching on the river following the implementation of the management plan. He also says that the other stage of the plan is to set up income generating projects like bee keeping for farmers to discourage them from engaging in projects that will endanger the river. 




He says village council officials, religious and opinion leaders will be co-opted in the plan. At Kazingo in Kichwamba Sub County, where the river passes, the communities in the past cultivated bananas, yams, sugar canes and vegetables on the river banks but this is no more. Florence Mugabe, the area environment committee chairperson says they decided to partner with residents to stop encroachment. 





She explains that under the partnership, communities have been sensitised on how to protect the river from all forms of encroachment and have been empowered to monitor and report any encroachment to higher authorities for intervention. 

 

//Cue in: "We sit down …
Cue out: … have no excuses."//


However Michael Mujuni, a resident of Kazingo says despite the successful implementation of the management plan, some wealthy residents still use their money to erect structures on the river bank.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.