Human activities have increased pressure and stress on Budhumbuli-Masese-Wanyama -Namulesa residents and this has resulted in flooding and floating of waste into homes of residents that are settled within the wetland.
Earlier this month Budhumbuli-Masese wetland that is sometimes referred to as Namulesa-Wanyama wetland flooded just after a heavy downpour that caused a lot of destruction across the district. This is mainly because of human induced pressure from industries, sugarcane growing, settlements and so many other businesses and activities carried out within this wetland.
The flooding was induced due to the activities that block water from flowing freely through the wetland which has left many residents lamenting due to the destruction caused with their houses covered in a pool of water, and some of their property being carried away by the water.
Namulondo a tenant and mother of four in one of the rentals, when approached cried out for help, stating how the floods had left them in a bad situation where they were worried and scared of their health due to poor sanitation, lack of clean water, and poor infrastructure .
The pool of water that entered their rooms made it worse, they spent the entire night standing with her husband till the next morning and they could not access any help, she adds.
This comes at a point when Namulondo and her family had just settled in the area after not being in position to afford the previous house they were in and it’s totally a new experience for them.
The rapid increase of urbanization, industrialization and commercialization in Bugembe town has on daily deterioration the situation of the Budhumbuli wetland.
Political intervention is one of the drivers fostering the encroachment of this wetland, this has given room to investors and other violators to illegally acquire land titles within the wetlands which has made enforcement on conserving these wetlands hard for environment officers in Jinja. The lack of funds to conserve these wetlands has also been a big factor in giving room to encroachers to carry out illegal activities on the wetland.
The senior district environment officer Mr.Maganda Moses says that wetland degradation starts with land entitlement which is done under the local government. The issuing of land titles in wetlands has been illegally done under political interests without affirmation from the environment committee or NEMA, he continues to say that most of the industrial, agricultural, human settlement and other activities that are conducted, are illegally being carried out.
This is because most of these activities have a political lineage weakening their power to perform what is required. Jinja and other Busoga districts are increasingly contributing to environmental degradation that is later going to impact our livelihood. As we continue to ignore environmental issues that need urgency, we should as well be ready when nature pays back.