200 People To Be Evicted - NEMA
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is to evict over 200 people currently living in the degraded Kaliddubi wetland in Makindye-Ssabagabo, Wakiso district.
About 50 others who encroached on Katengo wetland along the highway in Kyotera, Rakai district, also face eviction.
The imminent evictions are part of NEMA's ongoing country-wide campaign to rid all wetlands of encroachers and restore their swampy natural setting, according to NEMA publicist Naomi Karekaho.
The decision to evict encroachers from both wetlands arose when NEMA staff and board members visited the sites during a week-long tour to ascertain the state of environment in the central region.
During the tour last week, officials led by acting executive director Kasekende Mujuzi and board chairman Dr. William Kasolo were dazed by the high rate of environmental degradation in the country.
Kaliddubi swamp used to run from Wankulukuku in Kampala's Rubaga division all the way across Entebbe Road through Makindye-Ssabagabo and pour into Lake Victoria at Munyonyo.
However, hundreds of people who encroached on it along Busabala Road have reduced a huge chunk of the once papyrus-filled swamp to a mere stream.
They have instead used the area to grow banana and maize plantations and construct permanent houses, in total breach of environmental laws.
"Uganda's wetlands are drying up because of encroachers. Evicting these people will be a very good example," Kasolo said in support of NEMA's decision. "We should be seen to do it; we need to show the public that we are taking issues of environmental degradation head-on."
Esau Mpoza, the Wakiso district senior environment officer, said the encroachers will not be compensated because they neither have land titles nor approved plans for their buildings.
Source: The New Vision