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The quality of water in Lake Victoria especially in Kalangala, Masaka, Buvuma, Entebbe and Mpigi has deteriorated due to pollution. This was revealed by the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) programme officer, Mr David Kureeba, during an interview with the Daily Monitor last Tuesday.

He said the colour of the lake has changed as the water now has a florescence-like substance which hinders the development and growth of the natural ecosystem.

“If we continue to do nothing about it, we shall have almost all natural resources within the country spoilt. Our main prayer is for the government to regulate companies that have established big factories near the water to be more conscious about pollution and stop dumping their waste into the water,” Mr Kureeba said.

He said although the government issues environmental impact assessment plans to different companies operating near the lake, most of them don’t adhere to the plans. In May 2012, the Minister of State in charge of environment, Ms Flavia Munaaba, at the World Environment’s Day celebrations at Kibanga playground in Kalangala District decried the increased infringement on the buffer zones by oil palm growers in the district. She said the infringement was threatening the ecosystem within the lake.

“The Kalangala I knew has greatly changed. When I first came to the district in the late 1990s, there wasn’t green water in the lake and vegetation was nice. What I see now is the opposite of the former,” Ms Munaaba said.

However, Oil Palm Uganda Limited management, through BIDCO environment officer Richard Ssenkooza have disputed the claims. He said all those who planted oil palm trees in the buffer zones (50 metres from the lake) were removed from the out-growers scheme and the buffer zones were reinstated.