KASESE DISTRICT: Grief has engulfed Kasese residents after a seventeen-year-old student of Kilembe secondary school drowned in River Nyamwamba in Kasese district.
The victim identified as Elias Masereka drowned in the river on Saturday evening as he tried to repair a makeshift bridge weakened by flooding after a heavy downpour.
Nelson Tumishiime, the Rwenzori East Police Spokesperson confirmed the incident and said efforts were underway to recover the teenager’s body.
Dodo Kamathe, a tour operator said the three boys were repairing the damaged bridge to enable tourists heading to Magherita peak to cross the river. He says strong water waves hit the trio forcing them to slip off the rocks.
Kamathe said they will improvise ropes to aid tourists to cross the river since they have declined to cancel their trips. Irene Mbambu, a resident of Kyanjuki wants the government to consider working on the infrastructure including bridges destroyed by heavy floods last year.
She said in some areas residents are using makeshift bridges to cross between Bulembia and Kyanjuki. Ferigo Kamable, the Kasese municipality legislator says that they are hopeful that once River Nyamwamba catchment management plan is implemented, the flooding situation will be manageable.
On Friday, the Ministry of Water and Environment presented to Kasese district leaders a plan to restore and protect River Nyamwamba. This plan among others involves the planting of bamboo trees on the riverbanks and installing a flood forecasting and early warning system.
This work is expected to begin this month and take eight to twelve months.