Gilbert Tayebwa, the ICF South-Central Uganda Crane Conservation-Program Officer, says that Lwengo is one of the largest breeding colonies for the cranes but several have been encroached on by the farmers and bricklayers.
Lwengo, Sembabule, Kyotera, and Rakai districts are part of the ten districts through which the proposed pipeline will pass to connect the oil wells in the Albertine region of Uganda towards the refinery at Tanzania’s port of Tanga. At least 1,901 people out of a total of 3,792 persons who will be affected in the route opening, are residents within the four districts of greater Masaka, in which the East pipeline was demarcated to pass.
According to Godfrey Mutemba, the Lwengo District Natural Resources Officer, their departments don’t have a vote within the EACOP budget and are as such, incapable of following up on environment-related concerns that were indicated in the Environment Impact Assessment report.
The campaign follows the death of 60 Gray-crowned cranes, in different wetlands which were poisoned by encroachers in two weeks. The dead cranes were discovered in a survey conducted by ICF to identifying and protecting the crested crane habitats in the district.
The State Minister for Environment Mary Goretti Kitutu challenged the women to use their influence of numbers to practically spearhead a massive tree planting campaign in their respective areas for purposes of restoring the destroyed environment features.
Godfrey Mutemba, the District Natural Resources officer said that people with property in wetlands and swamps will not be compensated. Mutemba says that since wetlands and swamps land are owned by government they don’t expect anyone to claim ownership.
A recent study on the sanitary conditions in the district revealed that the many residents were still performing poorly in general hygiene. The findings of the study by the district health department highlighted Malongo Sub County as the worst performer in latrine coverage.