Mackline Namiyingo, the Kakumiro District Environment Officer-DEO, says that the lockdown equally affected the supervision of wetlands, swamps and forest reserves, which saw hundreds of people invading the protected areas.
He asked the government to expedite the process of opening the boundaries of the forest reserve to allow justice to prevail so that National Forestry Authority-NFA, the kingdom as well the community near the forest reserve can know their boundaries.
More than 2000 homes have been submerged by floods from the rising water levels of Lake Albert in the four districts over the last nine months. Records show that up t0 38,000 people were displaced affected in Buliisa district alone, especially in the areas of Wanseko,
Katanga, Kawaibanda, Butiaba, Boma, Kigangaizi, Tugombili and Walukuba.
The over 600 pieces of timber are suspected to have been harvested in Nyairongo area in Kikuube district where the land boundaries between the National Forestry Authority, Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom and the community are in contest.
The National Environment Management Authority -NEMA found 13 square miles, out of the 22 square miles, were unfit for sugar plantation; They were in a wetland and forest reserve, which should be conserved.
The government has been conducting geothermal surveys Which Involved drilling eight temperature gradient holes to exploit geothermal energy at the famous Kibiro hot-springs. However, one of the holes that were being drilled by M/s Royal Techno Industries Limited, exploded on March 29, letting out a waxy mixture containing natural gas, clay, water, drilling mud and limited traces of oil which smelled like gasoline.
The water at the springs is always boiling at 100 degrees and is often used by locals to boil eggs and food like potatoes, cassava and green bananas. It has also been found to contain varying amounts of minerals and chemicals with medicinal value, among them, Sodium chloride, potassium chloride, Lithium Sulphate, calcium sulphate, calcium phosphate, and magnesium chloride.
The rains also swept away Nyakasandara Bridge that connects Bincon and Katugo to Hanga Market paralyzing transport in the area. This has forced several residents to stay home since the only bridge that connects to the nearby Kitemba Primary school was washed away.
The plant that was envisaged to turn garbage into manure was funded by World Bank through the National Environmental Management Authority-NEMA. Apart from aiding effective garbage management, the project was also supposed to support agriculture by providing compost manure, to be used by farmers.
John Bosco Muruli, the Supervisor Wambabya Central Forest Reserve, says the suspects were found carrying out illegal activities including bush clearing, charcoal burning, lumbering and cultivation among others.
Michael Tusiime, the NFA Managing Director asked the duo to vacate office in a June 19th 2017 letter to pave way for investigations into their alleged misconduct. The duo is accused of abetting illegal logging through connivance with timber dealers from Mukono district.
Stuart Maniraguha, the Budongo Range Manager, said the issue of illegal lumbering involves both residents and community members. He explains that CFM group leaders often over step their mandate by taking unlawful decisions.
The National Forestry Authority NFA has signed a collaborative management agreement with the Mpanga Community Conservation and Development Association to jointly conserve and protect Mpanga forest reserve in Hoima district.