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Buvuma District Demarcating L. Victoria Buffer Zones to Tame Encroachers

Buvuma District Natural Resources Officer Gladys Nalunkuuma says that all encroachers will be expected to relocate within a month after the demarcation. She adds that a number of encroachers had settled on the land in anticipation of compensation to pave way for the oil palm project in the district championed by Vegetable Oil Development Project-VODP.
Some of the houses constructed near Lake Victoria at Kirongo landing site in Buvuma District.

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Authorities in Buvuma district have started a drive to reclaim the Lake Victoria buffer zone which had been taken over by encroachers. The buffer zone today is characterized by semi-permanent structures, buildings, farms and forests.

The campaign targeting about 20 landing sites has started at the main island of Buvuma before spreading to other islands within the district. It is also intended to guide planning, improve hygiene and security.  

Buvuma District Natural Resources Officer Gladys Nalunkuuma says that all encroachers will be expected to relocate within a month after the demarcation. She adds that a number of encroachers had settled on the land in anticipation of compensation to pave way for the oil palm project in the district championed by Vegetable Oil Development Project-VODP.   

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The district receives about five million Shillings every financial quarter to protect the environment. Kabonge notes that they will ensure protecting areas demarcate and residents relocated. 

According to the District Principal Administrative Secretary-PAS Ismael Kabonge, a distance of 200 meters has to be maintained from the water bodies as a buffer zone, where no human activity is allowed.  He adds that although it may take some time to relocate people who constructed in the buffer zones at each landing site due to limited funds, starting the drive is a milestone. 

However, the majority of residents at the affected landing sites have criticized the move. Joel Kanakulya, a resident at Kirongo landing site says a number of people have lived in these areas for more than ten years advising the authorities to control the influx of new entrants than instructing them to relocate. 

Another resident Damalie Luwumbya says the move is ill-intentioned and aimed at weakening their financial abilities. Nawume Ndakyomye, another resident equally encourages the authorities to limit the new settlers than demolishing already established landing sites.