Mpanga Event: 5 days of raising awareness to preserve Mpanga River

Students were each given a tree to take home and plant for the future. (c) Joseph Muhumuza

UGANDA - The annual Uganda Water and Environment week, organized by the Ministry of Water and Environment, took place in Entebbe at the Water Resources Institute from 18th to 22nd March 2019. The event was preceded by regional awareness raising events. Protos (Join For Water) took the lead for the Mpanga Event (11th to 15th of March), joining forces with several partners, ranging from different agencies of the Ministry of Water and Environment, to multiple implementing partners.

The Mpanga Event focused on the promotion of efforts towards restoration, preservation and sustainable management of the river Mpanga. A wide range of water and environment stakeholders attended the event, including district and regional decision makers, technical specialists, academics, public and private sector institutions, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations and consumers.

The Mpanga catchment spreads across five districts, and its water is used for domestic, industrial and agricultural purpose. Under the stewardship of Protos (Join For Water), the Mpanga Event has over the years been used to focus on stakeholder engagement in respecting, restoring and preserving the Mpanga River in line with SDG6.

Activities

Awareness Raising about Mpanga River: a number of awareness, advocacy and public mobilisation activities were organized to rally all stakeholders on the preservation of Mpanga River. Four radio talk shows were held on regional radio stations. In schools awareness was raised through talks, tree planting, art and music. The students also were each given a tree to take home and plant for the future but also 25 trees were planted in each of the 2 schools.

Clean up exercises: two clean-up activities were organised in Kihondo and Karago. The major clean-up exercise was held in Fort Portal and targeted key areas of Mpanga River, but also schools, businesses and vendors, the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, hotels, banks...

Restoration of vegetation through tree planting: a tree planting exercise was held in areas along degraded river banks. Public tree nurseries offered tree seedlings that were planted along Mpanga River. The Fortportal Mayor was the chief tree planter. 

Public Dialogue: the Mpanga Event ended with a public dialogue on the key aspects of restoration, preservation and sustainable use of the Mpanga River, with presentations and speeches on the relationship between water, sanitation and hygiene and on Integrated Water Resources Management. There were exhibitions and theater performances and awards were given for environmental protection.

 

  • Article: George Bwambale