Francis Kahangwa, the chairperson of LC II Rwakishakis ward said he has registered six cases of people fighting for boundaries in the wetland but their cases were forwarded to the Region Environment Police.
More than 1,000
people who have encroached on the Rucheche wetland in Mbarara City have been
given one month to voluntary vacate. The encroachers are currently planting
rice, tomatoes, and cabbages among other crops in the wetlands.
The 150 acres cover three wards of Rukido, Nyarubungo, and Rwakishazis, in Mbarara
City South Division. Rucheche is one of
the wetlands that act as a water sponge that stores water for River Rwizi.
James Mwesigye, the Mbarara City Commissioner has directed the farmers who have
cultivated the wetland with crops like sugarcane, eggplants, cabbage, and Irish
potatoes and dug up trenches to stop carrying out any activities.
“tweija kubaragira kwonka…
…omu peacefully nabeshegyereza.”//
shocked to find boundaries in the wetland created by people claiming to own pieces
of land within the wetland.
Nuwagaba one of the encroachers asked for consideration and requested to be
allowed to harvest their crops.
“tweena turi abantu…
…tubyihemu tugyende gye.”//
another encroacher says that they have lived near the wetland since their
father shifted there in 1985 and have cultivated near and sometimes within the
Francis Kahangwa, the LCII Chairperson Rwakishakis Ward, says that he has
registered six cases of people fighting for boundaries in the wetland but their
cases were forwarded to the Region Environment Police. He requested support in the fight
“kyashemeza munonga ahabwa…
Cue out: …ahabwa
Tumwebaze, the Mbarara City Environment Officer welcomed the RCC’s directive
noting that they have for the last three months been sensitizing the communities
around the Rucheche wetland.
He said the
encroachers have failed to understand that destroying the wetland is destroying
“ebisharara ebi nibirungi…
…tureme kushisha obutonde.”//
the National Environment Authority report, in 2019 Uganda loses 791 square
Kilometres of wetlands; however, 4,487 hectares have been restored between 2011
of the National Environment Act provides for the protection of wetlands and
prohibits reclamation, erection of illegal structures, and empowers authorities
to demolish any structure that is fixed in, on, under, or above any wetland.
The Act also empowers districts to manage wetlands within their jurisdictions
and ensure that their boundaries are clearly demarcated so that even as water
levels and wetland vegetation recedes, the communities are clear on where the