River Nyamwamba

It arises from the mountain and flows to Lake George in the Albertine Rift

River Nyamwamba

River Nyamwamba is positioned in western Uganda of the Kasese district and is fed by melting glaciers from the Rwenzori Mountains. It arises from the mountain and flows to Lake George in the Albertine Rift. River Nyamwamba was the only river known to support irrigation agriculture in the Mubuku irrigation scheme and for the domestic use by the people around but due to climatic changes has continuously and it is feared that soon its life will end. Though the river is still working as the main source of water for both domestic use and agriculture.

Kasese region had two rainy seasons one started from March, April, May, and June and the second lasted from October- December. Though these seasons have changed extremely to the extent that it is hard to know the weather conditions and this has resulted in many dangers.

River Nyamwamba in Kasese District

In 1988 the climate of the Kasese region was good than today and this has made a big change, of which now the area is too hot than 20 years back.  Now the area had two rainy seasons and they are always changes. Now March-June season, in particular, isn’t reliable, and this has no longer favored the growth of crops in some areas of Kasese. In contrast, the first rains come so hard and led to the destruction of both crops and the soil causing massive landslides.

The changes of weather in the area have mostly affected the subsistence farmers who depended on rain-fed crops. The climate changes in the area have made the Kasese people depend on the river for irrigation where early mature varieties have since been emphasized leading to the disappearance of native traditional varieties. The farmers who are experiencing climate change have started to plant crop varieties that mature faster.

The continued melting of glaciers from the Rwenzori mountains because of high temperatures is causing the River Nyamwamba to carry more water down the stream after it dries up. In the morning hours, it is not easy to see water in the river but in the afternoon of the hot day, the ice used to melt the water and comes into large quantities which have led to the destruction of crops, bridges, and flooding to people’s houses downstream.

The local people around the Rwenzori Mountains have their cultural values attached to it but the climate changes which has destroyed their activities and have also affected their cultures.  The inhabitants of Kasese think that the snow on top of Rwenzori Mountain is the only way of surviving.  They are also known as “Abanyarwenzururu”, it is a local word that means “people from the land of snow”. The local people in the area are now worried about the melting glaciers supplying River Nyamwamba because they think that when the snow melts completely they will disappear as well.

The changes on River Nyamwemba and climate is believed to be controlled by the gods who staying in the mountain. The local people say that when gods became unhappy, so they release a lot of disastrous water ago as a sign of punishing the community for wrongdoing. Inhabitants remain uncertain of how they will live minus the river.

After hiking the Rwenzori Mountains in western Uganda, you can go to Mount Elgon National Park which is found in eastern parts of Uganda also best for mountain hiking. Murchison falls National park,  Kidepo National Park, Semuliki National Park well known for hot springs in Uganda, and Lake Mburo National, queen Elizabeth national park, Bwindi forest national park and other Parks where you can go and have unforgettable safari memories on your safari in Uganda.

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