Additional flooding looms as Uganda plans to open dam

By Tereza Jeremiah Chuei

The Undersecretary in the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Emmanuel Ladu said the country will experience an additional flooding incase Uganda releases its accumulated waters downstream.

Uganda had recently warned South Sudan it will release some of its Nile accumulated waters citing that it threatens the safety of their dam.

Michael Makue, Minister of Information and government’s spokesperson recently stated that the Ugandan government has issued an alert to South Sudan as they prepare to free their dam amid too much accumulation of water.

“The Ugandan government gave us a warning because their dam is under threat by water and they may decide to open up the water so that it can flow” Makuei said.

He expressed worry that if they (Uganda) open their water and Jebel Ulia dam of Sudan doesn’t open then South Sudan shall be submerged in water.

Minister Makuei said they are currently in talks with Sudan encouraging them to open up Jebel Ulia dam in response to Uganda’s decision to release their excess water.

South Sudan, the young East African nation since attaining its independence from Sudan in 2011 has not established their own dam to ensure systematic movement and flow of the Nile water as a mechanism to control and mitigate flooding.

This puts the country in a weaker position to manage its water resources that has turn catastrophic with the severe floods brought about by climate change that has devastated three quarter of the country.

 The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation attested that the Ministry luck funds to ensure that their dream to construct five artificial Lakes are brought to reality.

Emmanuel Ladu told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that, their hands are tied to rescue the nation from being submerged incase Uganda opens its dam.

“We don’t have infrastructure to contain water and so if Uganda releases water, we are going to experience additional flooding” said Ladu.

He however stated that the Ministry and Partners are trying their best to create the necessary infrastructure for water management.

“We are working together with our partners to ensure that we create infrastructure to manage water resources in this country,” he said.

Ladu disclosed that plans are underway for them to construct five artificial Lakes; three to the eastern bank and two to the western bank. He however underlined that they have not secured funding.

“We are still working on means and ways to control the recurring flooding in the country,” he added.

The Undersecretary also voiced the challenge of constructing dam, to store additional water coming to the country saying “it’s expensive to construct a dam and it takes time to have one”.

It is however not clear when Uganda intended to open its dam to let go of the accumulated excess waters now threatening its safety.

The UN Office for the coordination Humanitarian Affairs OCHA stated that over 900, 000 population have been severely affected by floods across nine states in the country facing dire humanitarian situation as their homes and farm lands have been submerged in water leaving them more vulnerable  

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