KAMPALA City Council and environmental institutions have disagreed on the proposed demolition of buildings in wetlands.
Meeting government officials and delegates of Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental forum on wetlands, at City Hall, mayor John Ssebaana Kizito called for compensation of the owners of property in the wetlands before demolition can start.
Delmar Blasco, the Ramsar Convention Secretary General, led the group that called on Ssebaana on Monday.
Ssebaana said the wetland boundaries were not defined and that â€œmost residents needed to know the areas referred to as wetlands.â€
â€œWe have about 30% of land area in Kampala covered by swamps and most of it belongs to people who cannot leave without alternatives,â€ he said.
However, Dr. Aryamanya Mugisha, the NEMA executive director, said the eviction of wetland encroachers in the city would start soon.
This was at a press conference at Nile Hotel on Monday.
He said the encroachers who settled in the wetlands after the enactment of the Constitution (1995) would be evicted without compensation.
However, Ssebaana said the laws relating to wetlands were conflicting, citing the policy that protects wetlands and the Land Act.
He said land belongs to the people but the Land Act is silent about compensation if the people cannot use the wetland.
Paul Mafabi, the assistant commissioner in charge of wetlands, said they had started demarcating the wetlands.
Compensate Owners Of Buildings â€“ Ssebaana