Last week, authorities from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Ministry of Water and Environment started evicting all farmers operating in wetlands in the districts of Kabale, Rubanda and Rukiga.
A fresh dispute has erupted between farmers and the Ministry of Water and Environment over compensation.
Last week, authorities from the National Environment Management
Authority (NEMA) and the Ministry of Water and Environment started evicting all
farmers operating in wetlands in the districts of Kabale, Rubanda and Rukiga.
In December 2020, the wetlands were demarcated and farmers warned
against encroaching on the wetlands. They argued that they are implementing the April 2020
Presidential directive to evict all people who have encroached on wetlands,
swamps, lakes, and rivers across the country.
On Thursday, Kabale Municipality Mayor Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha
organized a meeting with farmers at Municipality hall to discuss the eviction.
Byamugisha also invited officials from the Ministry of Water and Environment to
provide technical guidance on the matter.
During the meeting, Louis Mugisha, the Director at Directorate of
Water Resources Management- Ministry of Water and Environment revealed that the government is
considering compensating only farmers who had land titles before the 1995
constitution was promulgated. Mugisha says that the rest will be evicted
without any compensation.
According to Mugisha, the list of farmers who will be compensated was
submitted to the ministry in 2017.
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//Cue in: “eki ndikwenda ngu…
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Mugisha wonders why Kigezi farmers are not considering the
importance of conserving wetlands to act as a habitat for wildlife like birds
//Cue in: “konka kandi nobu…
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However, Mugisha’s statements angered farmers. Robert Katebarirwe,
Anteli Twahirwa, Didas Kanyesigye, and Dr Ananious Muhunde told Mugisha that as
farmers they don’t want any compensation but instead they want to retain the
land in wetlands. They fault the environment ministry for targeting to
compensate a few rich individuals and leave the rest of the poor farmers
suffering without any other option.
//Cue in: “we have agreed…
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//Cue in: “tweikirizana ngu ekyokutambuza…
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Patrick Tumwesigye, Gad Rukiramahe other concerned farmers, and
Emmanuel Sentaro Byamugisha, Kabale Municipality Mayor faulted Environment
Ministry officials for not consistently implementing the eviction order.
demanded Mugisha explain why the Ministry has failed to evict Chinese
trading under Zhong Industries Limited who are carrying out a large scale rice
farming in Lwera swamp that stretches about 20kiometres on the Kampala–Masaka