Waking up one morning pondering a business project to initiate, Steven Mbidi decided to invest in a multi-million recreation centre at Butyaba beach on Lake Albert, Buliisa district.
For years, Mbidi made big volumes of money from local and international revelers who made merry at his Green Resort Beach, Butyaba.
Last year, the director hosted some of Uganda’s top brass artistes in three consecutive months. These included David Lutalo, Dr Jose Chameleon, Sheebah Kalungi and Fik Fameica in March, July, August and September respectively.
But not long did disaster wait to shatter the director’s money making project that partygoers enjoyed most given its beautiful scenery overlooking the clear salty waters of Lake Albert locally known as Mwitanzige.
Mbidi told Kazi-njema News that the water started zooming closer and closer into his beach in April this year until he decided to evacuate after it was besieged by the inexorable flood.
At present, the natural tragedy baffles him as he keeps his eyes on the interminably advancing and swirling water waves aggressively determined to immerse the entire village affecting people living as far as two miles away from the shoreline.
Every morning Mbidi checks at the water level but only to see it submerging his business further squeezing his financial dreams.
The Buliisa district female councillor for Butyaba Sub-county,Ms Robinah Mulimba, sympathises with Mbidi, the director of the most popular recreational centre on Lake Albert for the loss so far incurred.
Ms Mulimba is among the people who have been affected by the deluges of the lake. Her entire courtyard has been submerged by the rising water.
However, she feels sympathetic to Mbidi, advising him to keep away from his submerging beach so he could control the trauma he is going through seeing his multi-million investment inundated.
“Much as I am also affected, I sympathise with him for the catastrophe considering the millions of shillings invested to make the beach to its state-of-the-art level,” says Mulimba.
Green Resort Beach, Butyaba has been attracting both Bagungu and Alur party animals converging at the annual Rayzo – Kruzz Beach Party, named after the studio name of the initiator, Prosper Emmy Kaliisa, a celebrated presenter for the popular evening show at Biiso FM in Buliisa district.
His cutting-edge party on November 16 attracted more than 1,500 partygoers. Popular artistes from Bunyoro and West Nile sub-regions including Figo West and, Bush Boy and Elton Lover Boy respectively alongside those from Kampala show talents.
The beach has also been a stress-management spot for corporates from all the major urban centres all over the Albertine belt including Hoima, Masindi and Nebbi as they chill-out either enjoying the artistes’ flairs or a cool phenomenon at the lake.
Boat cruise, beach football and beach volleyball are some of the sports activities that made the beach so meaningful to life for partyers.
Just in a stone’s throw distance at the same landing site stands Lunar Pub which, too, is gravely affected.
Public infrastructure including Butyaba Health Centre 3 also fell an easy prey to the decades’ unprecedented floods. Health caregivers vacated their staff quarters a fortnight ago after being run over by the overflowing waters.
The debunked Butyaba Fish Processing Factory might have no alternative use again even if fish stock restored.
More than 2,000 dwellers at Butyaba landing site have been left down-and-out. Some are being accommodated in the neighbouring schools and churches which they will soon vacate if the status quo continues.
This situation is no far different from that at all landing sites of Lakes Albert, Victoria and Kyoga because of the shared drainage system.
The severity of the impact on human activities and settlements depends on the popularity of the area.
Environmentalists warn that the situation might not be better anytime soon given the nearing of the rainy season in September and October.
The Ministry for Refugees and Disaster Preparedness has advised people living in low lying areas to vacate.
The National Environment Management Act does not allow human settlements and activities within 200 metres from the lake waters and 100 metres for major rivers.
But this time, the lake water levels have increased to as far as between more than 1,000 metres and a mile in some areas.
A similar experience was evident between 1962 and 1964.
Mr Bashir Twesigye, the Executive Director for the Civic Response on Environment and Development (CRED), blames the nasty experience on lack of preparedness by both the government and communities.
According to him, the impact on human activities and settlements would have been minimised if the law on wetland management was observed.