Uganda's Worst Water Crisis Still Ahead - Experts Top story

6780 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
Dr. Anil Markandya, the Director of Baastel Consortium and the National Coordinator of the Ministry off Water and Environment Study says preliminary observations already indicate a 26 percent decline in water availability for industrial, domestic consumption and Agriculture.

Uganda should brace herself for worst water crisis over the next three and half decades, climatologists have warned.
 
Climatologists studying the impact of climate Change in Uganda say the crisis will be characterized by widespread water shortages over the eight major river basins, homes to the country's major water reservoirs, including basins of Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga, River Aswa and those in Karamoja cattle corridor. In wet years, floods and landslides will lead to large-scale crop failures, diseases and food insecurity.
 
The scientists were contracted by the Ministry of Water and Environment to conduct an economic Impact Assessment of Climate Change in Uganda since January 2014. They say they will conclude various case studies across Uganda by June 2015.
 
Dr. Anil Markandya, the Director of Baastel Consortium and the National coordinator of the Ministry of Water and Environment Study says preliminary observations already indicate a 26 percent decline in water availability for industrial, domestic consumption and agriculture which is majorly rain fed.
 
He explains that the situation will be worsened by unmet sectors demands, ambitious economic growth and impressive increase in population in the run up to 2050.
 
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The scientists have put the economic cost at 5.5 billion dollars. According to Uganda National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Kampala city is already experiencing a daily shortfall of 40 million litres of water. The crisis is being blamed on the current dry spell.
 
Eng. Andrew Ssekayizi, the General Manager Kampala water told journalists expanding capacities of treatment plants in Katosi and Ggaba in addition to sinking more boreholes will produce an additional 50 million liters daily in the short term measures.
 
According to Dr. Anil Markandya says economic losses due to rainfall variability will soar from estimated 5.5 billion dollars by the year 2050 to as high as 50.3 billion dollars if income elasticity is put in to account.
 
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Chebet Maikut, Commissioner of Uganda's Department of Climate Change, Ministry of water /and /Environment agrees with the findings. He says most models used to analyse impacts of global warming in Uganda have shown significant rainfall variability in Uganda over the coming decades.
 
Commissioner Maikut explained that various variability seasons will usher in extreme weather conditions such as droughts, increased rainfall precipitation resulting into floods and landslides among others.
 
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The fisheries sector which employs hundreds of people and contributes significant foreign exchange to the country's reserve will equally be hit hard.

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.