Rubanda farmers defy Museveni directive on wetlands

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Rubanda farmers defy Museveni directive on wetlands
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Farmers in Rubanda district have defied President Museveni's  directive of not cultivating in wetlands.

The farmers are taking advantage of the coming season of September to plant food mainly, Irish potatoes in the wetlands, despite a presidential directive on wetland restoration.

Last year in October, the president  issued the directive on vacating and restoring wetlands in a move to conserve the degraded environment in the country.

However, farmers who include Anthony Ainebyona, Promise Kendagano and Annet Turyasima say that the reason as to why they have continued to defy the presidential directive of evicting the wetlands is that they don’t have enough land.

They say the yields from cultivating in the wetlands are high and they get more money

They farmers say government ought to allow them continue cultivating in the wetlands.

“We don’t have enough land and that’s why we are cultivating in the wetlands. We are not ready to vacate the wetlands because when we cultivate in wetlands, we are able to get income, educate our children and feed our families. We request government to compensate us if we are to vacate the wetlands.”

In a phone interview with the  Nile Post, senior public relations officer at  NEMA William Lubuulya says that Kigezi farmers should respect the presidential directive .

He further called  upon the farmers to immediately vacate the wetlands stressing that if they don’t leave, the law will catch up with them.

Lubuulya further says that the eviction process that is currently happening in some parts of Wakiso will be extended to all the other parts of  the country including Rubanda.

“Its against the law to encroach on wetlands and also it greatly affects our lives as human beings. We request all Ugandans to vacate the wetlands and allow them to perform their roles. What is happening in Wakiso will be extended to all parts across the country. Lubuulya states.

According to the State Minister for water and environment Beatrice Anywar ,Kigezi, Bukedea and Busoga sub-regions are special areas which the president has guided on how they should be handled.

She adds that the president has come out to say that people in those regions have been misled to settle in wetlands by other regions .

Anywar says that the president has directed that people who stay in the wetlands in the above-mentioned regions should be compensated before they can voluntarily vacate.

“The president has clearly said that people in Kigezi were misled by other governments. He has directed that we should look for a way how we can compensate them so that they peacefully vacate the wetlands and not for them to vacate by force," Anywar said.

 

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