Breaking

Human Activity Threatens Ntungamo's Biggest Wetland

The wetland is a lifeline for communities in Nyabihooko, Nyabushenyi and Ruhaama Sub Counties and part of Isingiro district. But it is now covered in trenches, dug up by farmers who have started creating vegetable gardens, tree nurseries and rearing animals within the gazetted wetland area.

Audio 3

Rufuha wetland in Ntungamo district is under threat as more and more people encroach on the catchment area which drains into river Kagyera and connects to Lake Nyabihoko.

The wetland is a lifeline for communities in Nyabihooko, Nyabushenyi and Ruhaama Sub Counties and part of Isingiro district. But it is now covered in trenches, dug up by farmers who have started creating vegetable gardens, tree nurseries and rearing animals within the gazetted wetland area.

The activities are also threatening monkeys and rare birds which had found a home in the wetland. Observers have said that many farmers have opted to poison the animals and birds in order to keep them away from their crop gardens.

Edward Natamba, the executive director at South Western Institute for Policy and Advocacy says that the level of encroachment means that the wetland can no longer retain water. He says that the rate of encroachment may wipe out the entire area if unchecked.

James Rwakasore, a resident of Ruhaama Sub County is one of those who have gardens in the wetland but says that the biggest challenge is caused by wealthy farmers who are clearing the bigger section of the wetland.

Dr Peninah Beinomugisha, an environmentalist who also doubles as the director for Ab'endagaano Development Foundation, a community-based organization operating in Ntungamo district says that Rufuha wetland has been targeted from different fronts despite being a lifeline for millions of people.

She, however, adds that leaders and environmentalists are working out a strategy to evict all encroachers and ensure that the wetland is restored.

//Cue in; "ku orabe ori…

Cue out……Ntungamo disturikiti."//

Ntungamo District Senior Environment Officer Dinah Tumwebaze says that they are working with the civil society organizations in the area to control the depletion of natural resources in the area as well as the intensity of depletion in Rufuha wetland.

//Cue in; "it is continuous…

Cue out…is high well:"//

Ntungamo district Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Leonard Ahimbisibwe observes an urgent need to protect the wetland from further destruction.

//Cue in; "make sure that…

Cue out…environmental protection."//

Keywords

Entities