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Namanve Central Forest Reserve Partitioned into Plots

Mike Ssempereza, a resident at Seeta and one of the land beneficiaries noted that about two weeks back a team of about 100 unknown people cut down the trees. He says that the same group turned up today to partitioning the plots, yet their attempts to demand answers on where the team got the powers to take over the land remained futile.
Part of the Namanve central forest reserve siezed off by people.

Audio 3

More than 300 people have encroached on the Namanve Central Forest Reserve in Seeta town. The forest, gazetted in 1932 measures more than 2,000 hectares, and according to environmentalists, more than 20 acres of it have been surrounded off.

The occupied land used to contain a natural forest before it was destroyed by grabbers. Later, the National Forestry Authority-NFA reclaimed the biggest section of it before leasing it to conservationists to grow eucalyptus trees. However, this did not stop various individuals from attempting to set up permanent structures, claiming to have its land titles.

Today, hundreds of people armed with pangas, sticks, and metals pitched camp on the land and partitioned it into small plots. They have formed small committees of leaders registering the beneficiaries.

Mike Ssempereza, a resident at Seeta and one of the land beneficiaries noted that about two weeks back a team of about 100 unknown people cut down the trees. He says that the same group turned up today to partitioning the plots, yet their attempts to demand answers on where the team got the powers to take over the land remained futile.

//Cue in; “Abantu baze muttaka…

Cue out: …nga kyabwe.”//

Samson Balaba, one of the settlers says their gardens were destroyed in the process of cutting down trees and they have none to approach for compensation so they decided to secure plots instead.

//Cue in; “Obuvumu bwetwafunye…

Cue out…twagaala ttaka.”//

Ivan Tibalira, the son of Lakwita Paul, a resident who had secured a 35-year lease from NFA wonders why NFA withdrew its deployment on the land which gave an opportunity to grabbers to cut down their trees and take over the land.

Aisha Alibhai, the NFA Spokesperson says their legal team is processing a court injunction to prevent further grabbing of the forest land.

//Cue in; “These are just…

Cue out…they can steal.”//