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Bushenyi District Loses Wetlands to Encroachers

Vincent Kataate, the senior environment officer said eight of the 50 wetlands across the district have been completely destroyed while the rest are slowly being encroached on.

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Several wetlands in Bushenyi District have been degraded following failure to implement the presidential directive.

In April President Museveni directed the Ministry for Water and Environment to apply force where necessary and evict all people who have encroached on wetlands, swamps, lakes and rivers across the country.

The President said that the country is already feeling the effects of encroachment on its natural resources in the form of lakes and rivers bursting banks and flooding.

However, in Bushenyi district several wetlands have been degraded. They include St. Kagwa wetland, in Kyeizooba Sub County, Katokye wetland stretch, Nchwera wetland, in Nyabubare Sub County, Kashenyi wetland and Kazinga wetland in Kyamuhunga Sub County.

Others are Ruharo upper wetland and Kichwamba- Ruharo-Kabiira wetland, central division in Bushenyi-Ishaka municipality have all been degraded.

Elly Muhwezi, the programs Director Uganda Citizens Alliance, says they have witnessed a reverse of what had earlier been achieved with many wetlands and water sources getting encroached and destroyed.

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Muhwezi said that many people are taking advantage of COVID-19 pandemic which has affected activities such as inspection and monitoring to encroach on the wetlands. 

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Jolly Tibemanya, the Bushenyi Resident District Commissioner, said during the pandemic that there has been laxity in enforcing the President’s directives.

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Vincent Kataate, the senior environment officer said eight of the 50 wetlands across the district have been destroyed while the rest are slowly being encroached on.

He said the biggest challenge is lack of logistics such as transport and inadequate funds for supervision.

"We are working so hard to fight encroachers but we are faced with the challenge of lack of vehicles and funds, however, we have started on a plan to restore the destroyed wetlands".              

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