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Residents in Kigezi Want Wetland Demarcation Exercise Halted

Residents who have encroached on the wetland want candidates to intervene and stop the Ministry.
02 Jan 2021 16:45
JACK SABITI

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Residents in the Kigezi Sub-region want the on-going wetland demarcation exercise halted.

In October, the Ministry of Water and Environment started demarcating wetlands and rivers in the region. Some of the wetlands include Ekona in Maziba sub-county, Nyakahita in Kabale municipality, Rufuha, and Kabasheshe in Ntungamo District. 

According to the Ministry of Water and Environment, at least 1,370 square kilometres of depleted wetlands in the districts of Rubanda, Kabale, Rukiga and Ntungamo will be restored.

However, residents who have encroached on the wetland want candidates to intervene and stop the Ministry. The latest is the Democratic Party President Norbert Mao who While campaigning in Kabale last week said that he had received concerns from many farmers who are facing eviction from the wetlands.

Mao said the government’s policy of evicting people from wetlands is not based on Science. He said the wetlands can be used sustainably for farming while they are preserved to do their main role of water catchment.

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The former Rukiga County MP Jack Sabiti says that the government should first consult the people before the demarcation is implemented. He also said the government must be ready to resettle the evicted people or given decent compensation.  

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Innocent Rwakiseta, a resident of Rubanda District says it would be an act of negligence for government to evict people from wetlands without considering their livelihoods.

Rwakiseata said the largest growing of Irish Potatoes in Rubanda District is on wetlands. He requested President Museveni to stop the on-going demarcation of wetlands and instead provide an Irish potato processing factory to Rubanda District to improve the value of Irish potato growing.  

During the NRM Delegates Meeting at Arcadia Cottages in Kabale District, the State Minister for Finance and Economic Planning David Bahati said that Cabinet agreed to halt the on-going demarcation of wetlands in Kigezi sub-region until more consultations are done.

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