The devastating floods on Lake Albert have left all the major lakeside guest houses in Buliisa district closed, buildings collapsing or being demolished by owners struggling to save something.
The prominent Lunar Pub and the Green Resort Beach-Butyaba alongside it have surely reached the point of no return.
Green Resort Beach has completely disappeared and walls collapsed. The formally beautiful beach gardens have turned into a very good environment for crocodiles with even the fishermen fearing to get there.
The tree shades have been submerged and the beach Director, Mr Steven Mbidi is working to manage the crisis by playing small fish deals for survival.
Meanwhile, our reporter has witnessed the demolition of the great Lunar Pub as the owners work to save the shutters, iron sheets, timbers and furniture as floods advance.
Some distance from the two prominent happening places that have for years attracted national artists including David Lutalo, Dr Jose Chameleon, Sheebah Kalungi and Fik Fameica to perform shows, is City Valley Guest House’s modern building constructed three years ago.
It had picked and threatened all the rest in Buliisa district’s lakeside hospitality industry in competition.
It is built out of money collected slowly from silver fish trade and fishing.
Mr Silver Habamugisha, son to the Guest House’s Director, Mr Cyrus Nteyamye, told Kazi-njema News that the floods have badly affected them since the business was adjacent to the home.
“We vacated and rented a grass thatched house for accommodation. Business slowed down and now our father is just struggling to see how we can get food,” he said.
Ms Robinah Mulimba, the female councillor for Butyaba sub-county says the impact of the floods to people’s property and the psychological impact caused to them might be life-long to some of them.
Ms Mulimba who was also forced by the floods to vacate her home adjacent to Green Resort Beach added that she has witnessed some owners of huge capital investment faint and get admitted over developing high blood pressure.
According to her, many developments on the lakeside are made using loans which have now turned into a source of stress.
Butyaba is the biggest landing site on Lake Albert followed by Panyimur in Pakwach district which is boosted by the regional fish market every Monday.
Again in Buliisa, the situation in Kigwera sub-county especially at Wanseko landing site is not different as you look at Deluxe Guest House strategically built near the Wanseko-Panyimur ferry dock site.
The same is evident at Walukuba, Bugoigo, Nyamukuta, Kabolwa and Kaloolo landing sites among others.
Most affected buildings at Wanseko landing site were build out of compensation cash after they were affected by the construction of the Hoima-Butyaba-Wanseko Road that is still underway.
The unfortunate experience happens at the time landing sites in Buliisa district have all signs of transforming into modern landing sites that would see many out of abject poverty and their standards lifted.
According to Mr Simon Agaba Kinene, the Buliisa District LC 5 Chairman, more than 8,000 flood affected persons in the district alone are in dire need of relief and lifesaving materials since some are trapped in areas now turned into islands by the submerging waters.
Magali landing site is an example of such a turned island which cannot be accessed by road.
All the lanes of the formally busy Butyaba landing site are either becoming desolate or are already desolate.
It has been difficult for almost all flood victims all over the country to get required humanitarian aid since this year 2020 started with the COVID-19 and desert locusts’ invasion disasters before water bodies started bursting their peripherals, according to local leaders.
Mr Steven Biraahwa Mukitale, the Buliisa County Member of Parliament has called upon the academia to document these historical floods to ensure that subsequent generations are cautioned on settlement patterns.
He is lobbying for support from the ministry of disaster preparedness though nothing sufficient has come out proportionate with the needs on ground.
Mr David Karubanga, the State Minister for Public Service recently told Kazi-njema Newsthat he was working on the possible relocation and humanitarian support of the growing number of flood victims on Lake Albert.
The situation on Lake Albert is not far different from that of the poor dwellers of Lake Kyoga and Lake Victoria.
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has been cautioning people against establishing developments inside 300 metres off the lake water as provided in the NEMA Act.
But these floods have affected some people who were as far as three kilometres away especially in Butyaba.
Lakes in Uganda last flooded similarly between 1960-1964, according to the ministry of water and environment.
Though the cause has been torrential rains different from floods on lakes of Uganda, countless families are homeless especially in Jonglei State of South Sudan.
Similar floods are evident in parts on Kenya and Tanzania around Lake Victoria.