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Minister orders removal of rice in wetland, forest reserve

By Noah Jagwe

Added 21st March 2017 12:31 PM

Wetlands and forests have been encroached on by both migrants from neighbouring Rwanda as well as locals

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Minister Kitutu (C) gestures during a tour of the swamps. Photo by Noah Jagwe

Wetlands and forests have been encroached on by both migrants from neighbouring Rwanda as well as locals

100 acres of rice planted along River Muzizi and Kangombe Forest in Bufunjo Sub County, Kyenjojo district are to be destroyed for encroaching on forest reserves and wetlands.

The order intended to protect the forest that joins Kyenjojo to the districts of Kibale, Kagadi and Mubende was issued by Mary Goretti Kitutu the State Minister for the Environment.

“I want this forest restored by the time I come back here” Kitutu said.

She said degradation of the environment has forced government to feed over 1.5 million people due to hunger as a result of inadequate rain to support agriculture.

Kitutu noted that encroachment on wetlands is a crime and is punishable according to Uganda's laws adding that wetlands are a source of rainfall and any attempt to destroy them directs affects agricultural production.

"I am going to give you maximum support until kyenjonjo is free from encroachers," Kitutu said.

This was during the launch of Kyenjojo district Environmental District Strategic Plan.

 

Kyenjojo RDC Isaac Kawonawo said that the wetlands and forests have been encroached on by both migrants from neighbouring Rwanda as well as locals.

Kitutu said she will convene a meeting with Inspector General of Police and Resident District Commissioners from the neighbouring districts that share the forests and River Muzizi.  

Richard Rubongoya, the Kyenjojo district environmental officer said they are not well facilitated to manage encroachers.

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