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Wakiso authorities decry wetland encroachment

By Job Nantakiika

Added 28th August 2019 11:01 AM

It is becoming complicated to fight against wetland encroachers because they fill the wetland with soil at night

Wakiso district authorities have appealed to the Police to intervene in the fight against wetland encroachment in the district.

Wakiso district natural resources officer Rebecca Ssabaganzi and the district LC5 chairman Matia Lwanga Bwanika stormed Bulenga Police Post on Monday calling for help.

This follows the failure to identify the people who have been filling Lubigi wetland with soil in the Bulenga area on Mityana Road.

Ssabaganzi pointed out that it is becoming complicated to fight against wetland encroachers because they fill the wetland with soil at night.

When the two district officials visited the encroached part of Lubigi at Bulenga on Monday, the workers told them that their boss is an influential person in the in government before they took.

This left them at a crossroads forcing them to call for Police help in identifying the exact people behind the vice.

John Byamigisha, the officer in charge of Bulenga Police Post, promised to join hands with the district authorities to fight against wetland degradation in the district.

From Bulenga Police Station, Bwanika with other district officials went to Nateete Police Station where they met ASP Fred Tumuhairwe a Police officer in charge of the environment.

Tumuhairwe said he was aware of the problem in Lubigi especially in the Bulenga area.

He added that he once tried to follow it up and the encroachers told him that they had documents from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) allowing them to fill part of Lubigi wetland with soil.

He, however, pointed out that many of the wetland encroachers are very stubborn and they present forged papers from NEMA adding that he one time arrested one person and handed him over to NEMA authorities.

The officer added that the ministry of water and environment has plans of restoring Lubigi in the near future and all the encroachers will be forced out.

Ssabaganzi asked the government to start planning for all groups of people and get them where to work from, saying this would save wetlands.

“Wetlands are very vital to all people regardless of status and age because they filter the water we use in our homes and without them, we can all fall sick and pay heavy medical bills,” said Ssabaganzi.

Bwanika said he had pressure from a concerned citizen who has been sending emails informing him about the problem in Lubigi.

Wakiso district environment officer Esau Mpoza said a June 24 presidential directive by the secretary in the Office of the President, Hajji Yunus Kakande, ordered all RDCs and the Chief Administrative Officers to sensitise the people and persuade them to leave wetlands.

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