Luweero, Nakaseke degraded wetlands anger Museveni

NAKASEKE. President Museveni has directed District Administrative Officers, Resident Commissioners and the District Police Commanders for Luweero and Nakaseke districts to evict all encroachers from the wetlands or risk losing their jobs.

Mr Museveni is furious that the encroachment on wetlands in parts of Luweero and Nakaseke districts has continued under the watch of government technocrats.

Most of the wetlands which are catchment areas for River Mayanja and River Danze in Nakaseke are already threatened by the careless degradation.

While commissioning Goodwill ceramics industry at the weekend, Mr Museveni named over 12 degraded wetlands in Nakaseke and Luweero Districts before adding that he would not listen to any explanation in support of the continued destruction of the environment.

“I have seen the Wetlands at Kabeere, Kagembe, Wabikokoma, Bulega, Lwetunga, Mayanja, Wakasanke, Kalasa, Lukumbi, Walubumba, Kyerezi and Danze swamps have been cleared. Remember that we have a water irrigation project soon to be established on River Danze.

We also have a water project by National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) producing 10 million litres per day on River Mayanja Serving different areas of Nakaseke and Luweero.

Next time when I find these areas still encroached on, I will have to chase away these Chief Administrative Officers, District Police Commanders and RDCs for both Luweero and Nakaseke Districts,” Mr Museveni.

Mr Museveni said his Demonstration Farm at Kawumu State Lodge in Makulubita Sub County, Luweero District promotes the use of water irrigation with the proposed irrigation project expected to draw the water from river Danze.

“We cannot allow the destruction of the wetlands which drains water from these rivers. I have now tasked your political leaders including the LC5 Chairperson and the LC3 Chairpersons because they derive their respective powers from you ‘the voters’ but have the power on these civil servants including the RDCs,” the president added.

According to him, the political leaders must enforce the restoration of the degraded wetlands.

“We are constructing factories to provide employment but these factories need the water,” he said before adding that he would visit the areas in November to interact with the bush war veteran families and residents.

A spot visit of some wetlands on Kampala –Gulu highway and the Matugga- Semuto –Kapeeka roads by the Daily Monitor revealed a deliberate land filling upto more than 90 percent of the wetland areas and clearance for both cultivation and factory construction purposes.

Nakaseke District LC5 District Chairperson, Mr Ignatius Kiwanuka Koomu in an interview with the Daily Monitor said the deliberate and indiscriminate clearance of wetlands can only be halted by higher offices because

“if the President has given a directive, I believe we shall get a relief. We are all concerned about the rate at which these wetlands are getting destroyed with impunity.

I personally heard the president expressing concern over the degraded wetland areas. I hope the concerned officers have got the message.”

However Mr Samuel Ssenfuka, a resident of Kapeeka Town said some of the wetlands are property of individuals while many were given out by government officials who issue land titles at the respective land offices.

“We now wait to see the enforcement of the presidential directive,” Mr Ssenfuka said.

By Daily Monitor

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