Registered Charity Number: 1037414

Lake Kakinga, Uganda.

July 10th, 2018 in News by emily

In 2011 the Trust visited the area around Lake Kakinga and the town of Sembabule in Uganda. The purpose of the short visit was to consider improving it as a fishery, remove agal blooms, improve the water quality of the lake and protect it as a viable water resource for the local villages.

The Lake in 2010, Both water lettuce choking the fishery and blue green alga: apparent across the lake surface.

The lake has an annual visitation of between one and up to two million cattle and their pastoralist drovers passing through the village edge and that of the lake from Tanzania to Kenya and South Sudan. The cattle being watered in the lake breaking the banks into a quagmire, and their waste enriching the waters.

The rainy season further exacerbating this with silt coming into the water body from the usually dry rills that drain the higher lands of the area.

The fishing, which should have been a rich and abundant fishery was choked by water lettuce which covered vast areas and one gave a good home for algae as dis the silted up lake edges, but hade it nearly impossible for the fishermen to operate from their canoes of shallow draft boats.

The vegetable gardens of the village were only fertile due to the algae pulled out of the lake in the watering cans when water was taken to irrigate the tomato crops.

There were problems of children nearly drowning in the lake whilst taking water for the home. The sanitation was impacting, only in a minor way in the village but both the indigenous farm animals and the pastoralists’ herds. The wild animals of the area also caused problems.

Answers.

The answers were not difficult to find, the local population had many of the answers in their cultural memory bank. Watering centres using local clay troughs, thorn hedging that was even impenetrable to wild animals and thirsty driven cattle. The pastoralist tattle were supplied with areas that could be used to water their stock that had once been provided by past aid agencies who thought petrol driven pumps were the answer. They never work after the first break down as there is no one trained to mend such equipment close at hand. Petro also is hard to get and to purchase fuel takes a day’s drive. Locals built shadoofs out of local timber and allowed the cattle herders both their own and the visitors to water their stock away from the lake edge.

Where children went for water for cooking and the home the edges of the lake side were revetted and allowed to harden so they were not slippery. The village had a piped supply once but the pumping was, as with the stock watering site unworkable once the mechanic who installed the system went away with the NGO who had paid for it.  The old tanks that held water to supply water to the village instead supplied harvested rainwater to the vegetable gardens.

Small wetland took the run off from latrines and stopped both smells and disease.

The water Lettice was gathered in by ropes slung between small fishing boats and brought to shore where it was taken and composted in in in windrows and mixed with animal dung to improve the soils of the vegetable gardens.

Conclusion.

This project was a success and as the two photographs demonstrate, sustainable.

The cost was tiny: the cost of a plane ticket and a week of time.

The result a near pristine lake and a community that thrives on the benefits the lake provides. Illness has been cut and no children have been hurt or drowned when collecting water. The religious diversity of the area has also benefited as pigs no longer dig up the banks and defile the water.

The Trust is proud of this project and will revisit Uganda when an invitation comes again, we have already been asked if we are willing.

Kakinga in 2016. The clear water and definition of the lake margins demonstrates a huge change in culture and care of the resource.

Author: emily

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