Mbarara deputy Resident District Commissioner Moses Mwebesa and residents of Nyamitanga Division have faulted authorities charged with environmental protection of giving up the campaign to save River Rwizi from unfriendly human activities.
Sand mining in the river at Kirehe in Nyamitanga Division has made the river come close to changing course.
The residents say environmentalists focus on reclaiming and protecting sections of the river which are easily noticeable, neglecting sections deep in rural and hard to reach areas.
“Every now and again I hear that National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) is reclaiming catchment areas of the river and protecting its zones but sand mining has been here for years yet the miners have never been stopped,” said Mr Badru Kateba, a resident.
Mr Mwebesa who visited degraded sections of the river last Friday said those responsible should go out and work.
“Looking at what is being done here you wonder how environmental protection is getting neglected. I am going to consult relevant authorities including Nema and local governments that share the catchment of this river to ensure the human activities proving destructive to the river are stopped immediately,” said Mr Mwebesa.
The concern comes after the German government through the German Federation Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the UK Department for International Development and Coca cola started funding a programme for improved community livelihoods and sustainable water management in the River Rwizi catchment area.
The partnership began in 2013.