David Kureeba, an environmentalist in a recent interview with Eagle online said ‘water has a very strong memory’. By this, Kureeba literally meant that water can at any time retrace all its former routes even after decades.
Kureeba’s argument is perhaps better understood by famous city businessmen and pastors whose lavish homes built on Lake Victoria shores are currently flooded. When Eagle online visited places such as Munyonyo, Ggaba, Luzira and Kawuku where some of these prominent persons own large mansions, their compounds were immersed.
At Kawuku, this website realized the entire compound of businessman, Hamis Kiggundu, is flooded with water. Kiggundu is the proprietor of Ham towers in Makerere and Ham shopping Centre located at Nakivubo lane.
His previously neat looking compound stretching about 300 metres into the Lake is now underwater. The perimeter walls, gardens and trees that provided a serene atmosphere including his hut are flooded. The docking pyre also is sunken and one needs to be lifted on the shoulders or walk through water in order to reach the boat.
Kiggundu’s men in civilian wears and police officers are positioned on speed boat and other corners ready to give a chase to whoever passes near their boss’s home in order to find out the intention.
One of the nearby residents told Eagle online that Kiggundu shifted from Kawuku to another residence along Entebbe Road. The businessman reportedly goes to Kawuku only to check on his workers and guards. However, we could not independently verify this claim as Kiggundu did not pick our calls.
Kiggundu’s home is close to Christopher Sembuya’s residence which is also inundated by fast rising Lake Victoria water levels. Sembuya is the proprietor of struggling Sembuule Steel Mills Limited a factory that used to among others things manufacture Radio receivers.
Sembuya’s rest hut, gardens, fence and docking pyre are also under water. His speed boat encrypted with his name was found seemingly abandoned at the dock.
Homes of two prominent city pastors Gary Skinner and Robert Kayanja are also drowned. Pastor Gary is the team leader of Watoto Church formerly known as Kampala Pentecostal Church –KPC. Pastor Kayanja is the found and lead pastor of Lubaga Miracle Centre Cathedral.
Kayanja’s compound is also water logged. The grass thatched hut, one would also describe as an umbrella and a mini conference hall built more than 200 metres into the lake are engulfed by water.
Kiggundu, Kayanja, Gary and Sembuya are not the only victims of shores reclaimed by Lake Victoria. Nearly all homes built on shores stretching from Kawuku, Ggaba, Mulungu, Luzira, Muyenga-Bukasa and Munyonyo are submerged.
Beaches such as Ggaba, KK and Rodgers Ddungu at Mulungu are not spared. Landing sites like Port Bell and Mulungu have also been affected. Residents who were living in temporary and permanent structures have been displaced.
Sam Cheptoris, Water and Environment Minister, recently told journalists at Uganda Media Centre that the rise in Lake Victoria water levels have gone up from 12.00 meters to the current level of 13.32 meters as of April 30, 2020.
The minister expressed worry that the water could rise to 13.41, the highest ever recorded. The Lake is currently only 0.08 meters away from the highest level ever recorded in May, 1964 according to the minister.
Kureeba, a member of National Association of Professional Environmentalists, explained to this website that increased water levels are a result of degraded wetlands, valleys and forests around Lake Victoria. The environmentalist said that the dams constructed on Lake Victoria have also affected water flow. This means water in flow is not proportionate to water out flow.