The National Environmental Management Authority-NEMA has faulted Mbarara Municipality, Isingiro and Mbarara District Authorities for failing to block the contamination of the River Rwizi.
The river, a lifeline of millions of people in the region, is also a source of water for major towns in Ankole region. However, residents in Mbarara Municipality, parts of Isingiro and Buhweju continue to erect toilets on the riverbank and empty them in the river especially during the rainy season.
A number of residents also empty their septic tanks into the river to avoid the cost of the cesspool emptier.
Bright Muhumuza, a resident of Mbarara Municipality faults the authorities for failing to ensure that all the landlords and locals contaminating river Rwizi are apprehended.
Similarly, the NEMA coordinator southwestern Uganda Jeconious Musingwire faults the local authorities in the districts where the vice is highly practiced for failing to enforce the law.
He says that it is the primary responsibility of the local governments to ensure that the people in their respective areas of jurisdiction are not tampering with the environment.
National Water and Sewerage Corporation has always complained of using extra costs to treat water from river Rwizi due to silting and other challenges.
Musingwire adds that the absence of the political will that has seen people remain in the 100 meters’ protection zone is the biggest problem.