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NFA Evicts Over 200 Families from Forest Land

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Jenifer Nantume Egunyu, the Buvuma Woman Member of Parliament, says she is disappointed with UPDF for torturing the affected households to the extent of burning their houses.
some of the children that are homeless after they were evicted from the forest land

Audio 5

More than 200 families in Busamuzi Sub County in Buvuma district are out in the cold following their eviction from Mpolwe National Forest reserve. 

The most affected are from Ssese, Kitiko, Mpollwe, Kabubu and Nandala villages in Nairambi and Busamuzi sub counties.

The affected households were evicted by a team of Uganda People Defense Force-UPDF soldiers on Monday this week on the directives of the National Forestry Authority-NFA. The soldiers torched all the houses in the forest reserve and ordered the families to leave.

Members of the affected households are now sleeping in bushes and have nothing to eat. The affected residents were first warned to vacate the reserve in 2014 but they kept a deaf hear.

Some of them argued that they have been on the forest land for long and had nowhere to go to. Siraji Mugoda, one of the affected residents, says he lost all the property when UPDF burnt his house and calls for government support, saying he is hopeless.

//Cue in: "Nalaba aba gyaasi…

Cue out…ndi wano wenti"// 

Florence Nalongo, a mother of eight sleeps with her children under a tree following the destruction of their house. Nalongo says her husband abandoned the family when their house was burnt down by soldiers, which left them with no choice but to sleep under a tree.  

//cue in: "baida ba…

Cue out…ku kanisa"//

Lilian Nakaweesi, outgoing Buvuma Resident District Commissioner-RDC, says the evicted people would enter the forest at night and erect houses by the next day. 

She also accused them of degrading the forest by cutting down trees to burn charcoal and built boats.

//Cue in: "Bibira bingi…

Cue out…tewali akilizibwa bigula"//

Jenifer Nantume Egunyu, the Buvuma Woman Member of Parliament, says she is disappointed with UPDF for torturing the affected households  to the extent of burning their houses. 

She says the National Forest Authority should have demarcated the boundaries of the forest land before evicting residents.

//Cue in: "Am very disappointed…

Cue out…Uganda is ours"//

Luganda

//cue in: "ndewankubadde…

Cue out…ensi yiye"// 

Efforts by our reporter to contact Aisha Alibhai, the spokesperson of the National Forestry Authority for a comment as her known phone number was unavailable by the time of filing this story.