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Spatial and temporal variation of pollutant concentrations in the Napoleon Gulf and its feeder streams (Lake Victoria) in Jinja, Uganda

News ― 4 September 2015

Spatial and temporal variation of pollutant concentrations in the Napoleon Gulf and its feeder streams (Lake Victoria) in Jinja, Uganda

Introduction

National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), Jinja service Area, abstracts water from the Napoleon Gulf of Lake Victoria, where the only water treatment plant of the area, “Walukuba” is also located. Water demand is increasing more and more, and this trend is likely to continue in the future. Decision making tools are needed for timely interventions to face the current and unforeseen challenges and mitigate events such as floods and droughts. The Napoleon Gulf of Lake Victoria receives storm water, partially treated and untreated domestic and industrial wastewaters flushed in via several channels and streams, namely Buzika, Kakira, Tannery Wanyange and Walukuba, among others. This makes it a unique and very important area for water quality investigations and predictions. NWSC, as the main local water supply agency, is entitled to coordinate all activities to protect the source water, making use of the Water Safety Planning (WSP) approach, and to commit funds towards mobilization and sensitization.

Water quality monitoring

According to the water quality analysis results under the LVEMP II Project, there was a general increase in total suspended solids and total phosphates (TSS & TP) mean values from 2011 to 2014 at all sampling sites in the catchment. NWSC, through the WSP approach, is protecting the sections of the banks adjacent to the water works, by either re-vegetation or through technical solutions. The wave activity is eroding the embankment, causing the fence to collapse at some sections (Plate 1).

Plate 1: Construction of stone gabions along the banks at Masese water works

Wayforward

A more proactive participation of NWSC in programmes that work towards the protection of Lake Victoria is necessary. The Flood and Drought Management Tool (FDMT) project is spearheading the development of tools able to provide support to decision-makers for short- and long-term planning in relation to flood and drought issues. NWSC intends to propose tools to be developed during the course of the project, in collaboration with the project team and other stakeholders. This should entail efforts to map and obtain coordinates for the different sampling sites in the Napoleon Gulf for easier reference and comparison. To predict future scenarios, the FDMT project should also be able to help in deriving the required model inputs, such as environmental and weather parameters and information on anthropogenic activities, among others. Other needed input parameters are streams and channel flow velocities and any other measurements related to the determination of pollution loads.


Article contribution from:

David Ogaram,

WSP Team Leader

NWSC – Jinja, Uganda

Email: David.Ogaram@nwsc.co.ug