Friday, 3 October 2014

How Uganda is unwittingly giving territory to DRC

Mathew 13: 12 – Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.

Cow at Semliki Uganda: the green side across is DRC
Uganda is slowly losing land to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) due to poor environmental practices including over grazing and cultivation  at river banks. 

I was in Ntoroko district last week and saw how River Semliki, which marks the boundary between tiny Uganda (total area: 241, 038 km²) and big DRC (total area: 2,345,410 km2) in these parts, is cutting into Uganda and giving pieces of land to DRC. 

How does this happen? The DRC side has its buffer vegetation intact. The Ugandan side has been degraded. Semliki finds the Ugandan side smoother on its 140km journey from L. Edward to L. Albert – it just keeps extending this side. 
Sand mining: dangerous in some parts of the Semliki system
Over 10m of the river bank on Uganda’s territory is eroded annually at various points of the river, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) says (Highlights of the Uganda Atlas of Our Changing Environment 2006).


 Thank you Jackson Kitamirike (Albert Water Management Zone - AWMZ) for being a very good guide on my first of several research trips I intend to make this side. Emma, our driver, you did a very good job over those three days as we crossed the many streams and rivers that refresh this beautiful Rwenzori-Albert area. Albert Orijabo (Team Leader, AWMZ), your brief on water management issues in this area was the right opener.

AWMZ staff at their offices in Fort Portal: Albert (3rd left), Jackson (middle), Emma (2nd right)

Can we stop the degradation!
Road from Ntoroko to Fort Portal

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