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Friday,December 04,2020 01:25 AM

Raze Homes In Wetlands, Govt Orders

By Vision Reporter

Added 29th April 2003 03:00 AM

The Government has directed Kampala City Council (KCC) to demolish houses and other structures erected in the wetlands.

The Government has directed Kampala City Council (KCC) to demolish houses and other structures erected in the wetlands.

By Anne Mugisa and Catherine Ntabadde
The Government has directed Kampala City Council (KCC) to demolish houses and other structures erected in the wetlands.

The directive from the Ministry of Water, Lands and Environment, comes after serious floods on Sunday, which ravaged buildings in some of the waterways and killed a girl in Rubaga.

State minister for environment Kezimbira Miyingo told journalists in his office that KCC had refused enforcing laws and regulations put in place to stop construction of the wetlands.

He said one of the regulations, which KCC has been pressured to put in place by the ministry and environmental organisations, is to engage a private agency unlikely to be corrupted, to evict encroachers and demolish the structures.

“We talked with the mayor to look for private enforcement agents who cannot be bribed to evict people and demolish the buildings at a cost, but the Council rejected the idea. We have told them that they must demolish them,” Miyingo said.

The assistant commissioner for wetlands, Paul Mafabi, said the minister is yet to draft a formal directive to KCC.

Miyingo said over 60% of the city wetland had been destroyed by encroachers who include factories owners.

He said rain water in Kampala cannot find a resting place to percolate into the ground and instead destroys things in its way.

“The Government should not take the blame now, it is KCC,” Miyingo said.

But mayor Ssebaana Kizito said KCC will not compensate people who lost property because their buildings were illegal and had no occupational permits.

“These people built in the water way,” he told the press at another briefing at the City Hall.

“We agree that there are so many illegal buildings in swamps or over drains and those are the ones affected by floods. We cannot allow people to build in such places. When you do not approve their plans, they just go ahead and put up structures,” he added. He said the government had started gazetting city wetlands starting with Nakivubo.

Miyingo said something has gone seriously wrong with the Nakivubo channel and that Lake Victoria was threatened. He said KCC should stop the channel which drains the city from pouring its water directly into the lake.

He said the Nakivubo Channel currently under construction should be diverted to empty its effluent-laden waters into the Wabigalo wetland for a period of residence to shed the dirt before entering the lake.

But the Town Clerk, Gordon Mwesigye, said the Nakivubo Channel was not built to solve flooding in the whole city, but only in the central business district.

“We are going to identify black spots from other suburbs that feed the channel. The flooding we are seeing is in the peripheral areas not the centre,” Mwesigye said.
Ends

Raze Homes In Wetlands, Govt Orders

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