Guests at plush hotels like Speke Resort Munyonyo, Serena Kigo, party goers at the beaches risk drowning in the near future as Lake Victoria continues to burst it’s shoreline, and this time fiercely than ever.
Lake Victoria has once again burst its shoreline and the impact of the ever rising water levels is bringing more trouble for beach owners and goers than before.
Its also affecting other surrounding facilities like the plush Serena Hotel Kigo and Sudhir Ruparelia’s Speke Resort in Munyonyo.
Water has submerged part of the facilities and environmentalists are warning the worst is yet to come.
Over the years, environmentalists have warned that water levels on the lake would decrease due to the construction of hydropower dams on River Nile. But the variability in climate is proving otherwise.
In the last three weeks, there has been distress from farmers, business facilities, residential premises and other premises along the lakeshore.
The rise in the water level has been attributed to torrential rain that has been pounding the country for several months.
Many commercial facilities on the shoreline have been flooded and or submerged. Environmentalists say this unpredictable flooding points to climate change occasioned by global warming due to man’s relentless war against nature.
But there is also pollution by man, which also partly explains water surge forcing the suffocated lake to burst its shoreline, submerging businesses and residences in close proximity.
In some areas, the residents have been advised to relocate to safety while lakeside businesses such as hotels and beaches are grappling with constant flooding, with part of the premises abandoned or closed to clients.
“It has come 35 metres into our gardens. Our marina and harbour, we had quite a bit of a shoreline but they have all been affected. For 16 years that I have worked here, I have never seen the water levels rise up to this part of the gardens,” Mr Malik Akhilesh, the assistant general manager at Speke Resort Munyonyo, told Daily Monitor a few weeks ago.
He added: “This is lakeside. We have four of our prime venues next to the shore. It’s one of the biggest and most popular venue for functions and events; the peace lawns and the marina restaurant. Three of our prime venues have been affected by the rising water level,” he said, pointing to a former driveway which has now been submerged.
The rise in the water level has forced Speke Resort Munyonyo hotel management to cordon off part of their main garden at the lakeside.
“We were not doing this before, but every time we have a function, we have to put some extra lifeguards, security guards, people to clean up all the weeds which come into our lawns and just put extra people
The fact that this is affecting four of our prime venues is alarming for us,” Mr Akhilesh said in an interview with Daily Monitor last week.
He said the hotel management is helpless on what to do and it remains a challenge to the business and the clients.
He added: “There is nothing we can do. This is nature, but it has affected the way people used to come to enjoy the ‘lake’ scenery with their friends and family on Saturdays and Sundays. People no longer come like before because of the flooding and reduced amount of space.”
“This has increased costs of maintenance and loss of revenue from the closed leisure premises,” Mr Akhilesh said.
He said one of the hotel’s smaller gardens hired at Shs2.5m a day has been closed.
Lido Beach in Entebbe has not been spared. The sand lining along the shore is nearly all submerged with no space for beach games. The volley ball net has been moved to the paved yard.
At the shore, the lake water level continues to rise and spill to the beach premises. The flooding is aggravated by the strong winds.
A big part, where revellers would sit enjoying the lake breeze has also been submerged.
At KK Beach in Ggaba, about 40 metres away along the shoreline, the dining hall and pool table areas are all host to the lake.
A layer of greenish smelly water covers the kitchen area. The water weed and small marine shells litter the place. The water has spilled about 35 metres beyond the shoreline.
Swimmers have been warned not to enter the water beyond the redline the management has marked in the cordoned part of the lake. Yellow and white jerrycans have been tied on a rope to make a straight line of about 50 metres from the shore to demarcate where swimmers are advised to stop.
About 10 speed boats are docked under a huge tree standing in knee-level water.
A waiter at the beach said the pool table room, which would fetch about Shs200,000 on weekends, is equally submerged.
According to Mr David Tabalamule, the boats captain at KK Beach, for the three years he has worked at the facility, the lake had never risen to that level.
“Because of the stagnant water and the smell, people no longer come to play pool here. Our staff try to play to entice others to join them but most people now prefer taking their drinks from the compound side where we have shifted seats,” Mr Tabalamule said.
At the kitchen side, a temporary wooden walkway has been erected to aid the waitresses while getting orders for clients.
Additional information: Daily Monitor