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Kitagwenda: wetland encroachers given 21 days to vacate

By Racheal Nuwahereza

Authorities in Kitagwenda district have given encroachers in Kikoyo wetland an ultimatum of 21 days to vacate the swamp or face arrest and prosecution.

Responding to accusations by residents in Kitagwenda district, that the district only targets ordinary people for evictions from degraded wetlands, Anthony Karyegira, the Kitagwenda district natural resources officer said the encroachers who include big shots in the district were issued restoration notifications last week.

“We are giving them the benefit of doubt, if they refuse to comply, then we will move in fully and forcefully remove them, “said Karyegira in an interview on April 21.

Kalyegira reaffirmed their neutrality, explaining that there is no rich or poor in environmental conservation as all are under one law.

Notably, Nulu Byamukama, the Member of Parliament for Kitagwenda County was one of the encroachers whose eucalyptus trees were mowed down during last year’s massive eviction exercise from Kikoyo wetland where several acres of mature eucalyptus trees that were illegally planted in the swamp were cut down by the district and the regional wetlands office.

Currently, the district is planning to evict half a dozen other illegal occupants from River Mpanga gorge, said Kalyegira. 

Kalyegira revealed that the operation seeks to rid the river buffer zone within a range of 100 metres on either side as well as the entire stretch from Nyabani up to the point where River Mpanga pours its waters into Lake George, an estimated 800 hectares, of illegal activities like brick-making, vegetable growing and planting of eucalyptus trees and settlement.

From Stephen Nuwagira

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