Breaking

Environmental Officers Demand Representation on Land Boards

James Bond Kunobere, the Nakasongola District Environment Officer, says sub county area land committees and district land boards have repeatedly parceled out public and protected land to private developers in disregard of environmental concerns.

Audio 4

Environment officers in Greater Luweero districts are demanding representation on land boards to stem the allocation of protected land to developers and degradation of natural resources. The officers are pushing for representation on land boards as ex-officios to offer guidance to the land board members.

James Bond Kunobere, the Nakasongola District Environment Officer, says sub county area land committees and district land boards have repeatedly parceled out public and protected land to private developers in disregard of environmental concerns.

According to Kunobere, the reckless allocation of land to developers has triggered conflicts as the new land lords block access to natural resources like wetlands.

// Cue in: "this is just….

Cue out;….fencing off a wetland"//

Luganda Byte

// Cue in: "waliwo area land…

Cue out;…EIA tebakukola"//

Teopista Gateese, the Luweero District Environmental Officer, says although the physical planning act provides for the establishment of a physical planning committee where all departmental heads are expected to sit and scrutinize the land applications, but the committees are nonfunctional.

Members of Luweero district land board declined to comment on the demands of the education office, while the tenure of the Nakasongola district land board members expired. 

But retired Lieutenant Sam Kigula, the Nakasongola LC 5 Chairperson has backed the push of the environment officers for representation on land boards.

//Cue in: "Really it's absurd…

Cue out…and guide"//

Luganda Byte

// Cue in: "owe environment….

Cue out…kituyamba nnyo"//

Persis Namuganza, the the State Minister for Lands says both the ministry and cabinet directed that no land should be allocated to developers without the involvement of environment officer. 

She however, notes that land board officials tend to ignore the directive because of corruption. She notes that the lands ministry is in the process of streamlining the operation of district land boards, adding that the new changes will be communicated in due time.

According to Namuganza, government suspended further allocation of public land until new changes are put in place. She says any land titles issued in disregard of the directive will be cancelled. 

Keywords