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Demarcation of Wetlands Starts In Kabarole

Kabarole district and the Ministry of Water and Environment have embarked on boundary demarcation of wetlands in the district. The move is aimed at conserving the wetlands which are fast disappearing due to encroachment.

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Kabarole district and the Ministry of Water and Environment have embarked on boundary demarcation of wetlands in the district. The move is aimed at conserving the wetlands which are fast disappearing due to encroachment.

The demarcation exercise which includes retracing the wetland boundaries and placing mark stones has started in Karambi, Busoro, Hakibale and Kibiito Sub Counties, where the wetlands are at highest risk of extinction. 

Information from the district natural resources department shows that 65 percent of the wetlands in district have been encroached on in the last five years. 

Samuel Mugisha, from the department of Wetlands in the Ministry of Water, who is overseeing the exercise, says that demarcation will help the community know the boundary of a wetland. He adds that in the past, it was hard to convince people not to encroach on a wetland without a stone mark and demarcation.

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Benjamin Baguma, a member of Kibiito Sub County Environment committee, welcomes the demarcation exercise. He says that they have done their best but people keep returning to where they have been evicted. 

Baguma adds that lack of enough manpower and resources had hampered their efforts to keep wetlands free from encroachers.

Godfrey Ruyonga, the Kabarole district Natural Resources Coordinator, says that those who have built in the wetlands risk having their developments demolished since wetlands are managed by the government. He says the environmental law will not spare those who are dwelling in the wetlands no matter how someone acquired their land. 

Last year, a report from National Environmental Management Authority-NEMA indicated that Kabarole district is among the districts that have violated environmental guidelines. The report noted that many people have been allowed to settle in swamps, wetlands and other areas not meant for human activity.

According to the Ministry of Water, large chunks of wetlands countrywide, especially in east, central and western Uganda, have been converted into agricultural land and people have constructed houses on them, which have greatly devastated their potential of storing water and filtering pollutants.

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