Wetland Boundary Demarcation Exercise kicks off in Kagadi, Locals welcome the restoration measure
The Ministry of Water and Environment on Wednesday launched the demarcation exercise of Wetlands in Kagadi district.
Creating the boundaries, 30 meters will be cut off from the land of every person neighboring a wetland following the national wetlands, river banks and Lakeshores Management Act.
The exercise started with demarcating the boundaries of Hondwa Swamp, a main tributary of River Muziizi.
Speaking to the people who had attended the launch of the exercise on Wednesday at Hondwa Wetland in Kambugu LC1 Kasoga Parish Muhorro Sub County, the Kagadi Resident District Commissioner who was represented by the District Internal Security officer Wilson Mwiranda, explained that the communities have encroached on wetlands due to ignorance.
He said locals neighboring the Hondwa wetland boundaries should not encroach on it for farming activities.
Mwiranda said residents are only allowed to grow trees that are suitable for wetland restoration asking those that had planted eucalyptus trees to cut them with immediate effect.
Daniel Businge, the Senior Wetlands Officer Ministry of Water and Environment explained that the wetland demarcation exercise will cover the whole country in a bid to restore the natural biodiversity.
He asked residents seeking to do other activities like apiary, grazing animals, fish farming and other activities from wetlands to first seek permission from the natural resources department at their respective districts.
“This exercise is not segregative, we shall keep a deaf ear for those who call themselves rich. We are doing this for the food of all Ugandans whether poor or rich,” Businge told this website.
He also said they did enough sensitization both the community and the district leaders to avoid pull-ups during the exercise.
The Kagadi district Local Council Five chairperson Yosia Ndibwami Bahunga through his representative Oliver Irumba the Chairperson Natural Resources Committee of the district commended residents for complying with the exercise aiming at conserving the environment.
She asked politicians not to sabotage the demarcation exercise.
Valentino Byarugaba, the LC1 chairperson Kambugu village in Muhorro Sub-County and Fudere Rurangirana the resident who owns land where the demarcation exercise was launched welcomed the exercise and said they are ready to comply with the environmental conservation guidelines.
According to the national wetlands, river banks and Lakeshores Management Act, a person who shifts concrete pillars erected to demarcate wetland boundaries, is fined sh600 million or serves 12 years imprisonment or both.
The Act also clarifies that special measures are essential for the protection of wetlands of international, national and local importance as ecological systems and habitats for fauna and flora species, and for cultural and aesthetic purposes, as well as for their hydrological functions; and wise use of wetlands shall be applied in national and local approaches to the management of wetland resources through awareness campaigns, dissemination of information and environmental literacy.
Kagadi district is among the districts in Uganda leading in destruction of wetlands, encroachment on Natural Forests and ecosystems.