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Hoima Municipality Fails To Evict Wetland Encroachers

Hoima Municipality is failing to crackdown on wetland encroachers, with officials saying about 90 percent of wetlands in the municipality have been encroached on either by settlers, farmers or owners of car washing bays.

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Hoima Municipality is failing to crackdown on wetland encroachers, with officials saying about 90 percent of wetlands in the municipality have been encroached on either by settlers, farmers or owners of car washing bays.

 

Last year the environment office ordered all encroachers to vacate, warning to evict them forcefully. To date, however, none of them has complied and the municipal council is silent on the matter.

 

In an interview with Uganda Radio Network, Ronald Kyamanywa, the Hoima Municipal environment officer, said he is finding it hard to push out these encroachers.

 

Kyamanywa says this is because tenants occupy most of these buildings and they are hesitant to reveal their Landlords. Besides, Kyamanywa reveals that most of the encroachers have approved building plans and land titles. He says this can easily lead to court litigations against the municipal council, if not well handled.

 

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Kyamanywa says however, that his office is conducting sensitization for people to understand the dangers of settling in such places. He reveals that owners of car washing bays are being encouraged to form associations for them to pool funds and establish modern facilities. Kyamanywa says the encroachment on streams is already impacting on them, as evidenced by reduced water levels.

 

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But some of the washing bay operators say they will not leave their places of work unless the municipal council has provided them an alternative venue. Christopher Wobusobozi, who operates from near Bigajuka stream, says unless an alternative is provided, they will not vacate.

 

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Bigajuka, Wambabya and Rwenkondwa streams and neighboring wetlands are the most encroached on. Residents have built commercial and residential houses in wetlands. The current council has always accused their predecessors in the then Hoima town council of allocating plots and approving building plans in such areas.

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