PEOPLE RESORT TO CULTIVATING IN WETLANDS.

Various people in Uganda today have resorted to cultivating in swamps
and river banks due to the rampant environmental climatic change.

Mubende district is one of the areas that have been affected drought
due to the encroachment on the wetlands. Due to the increasing
population pressure in Mubende district people have resorted to
cultivating crops, burning charcoal, brick laying and sand mining that
has led to reduction water level in the wet land and rainfall
production.

Katabalanga River that is located 5 kilometers along Mubende- Mityana
high way is one of the rivers that have been completely depleted where
most her boundaries are currently occupied by maize ,cassava
plantations, cabbage , eucalyptus tree nursery beds  while others are
preparing land for new season by slashing the papyrus and other are
engaged in brick laying.

Most parts of Katabalanga swamp have been demarcated into plots of
land where various people have begun constructing temporary and
permanent houses.

Ssempijja Tusubira Fred chairperson Bakujulula lc 1 where Katabalanga
river is located expressed that;”I have refused to offer a legal stamp
to any person who is purchasing land in wet lands because am fully
aware of the dangers we are likely to face as a community but am
shocked to see others setting up houses in the swamps and others are
carrying out cultivation. I really agree that people who are operating
in the wetlands should be punished severely.”

Kibuuka Frances Amooti the chairperson lcv Mubende district
explained;”we still facing a big challenge with the people that have
encroached on these wet lands around Mubende district but we are
opening a new chapter in 2017, all these people will be forcefully
evicted and any individual that acquired land titles will be cancelled
immediately to avert the calamity we are facing currently.”

Kinene Vincent Mubende District Natural Resource Officer
explained;”the rivers that have been highly encroached on include
Katabalanga, Nabakazi and Kitumbi and its mainly due to the increasing
population pressure as people in urban centers are searching for fresh
lands for cultivation thus destroying the environment. We have offered
various warning to these encroachers through notices and public
meetings to sensitize the community about environmental management but
they have failed to adhere to our advice but with 2017 there will be
no mercy.”

Kinene added that;”all people that have constructed houses, have
plantations of maize, bananas, cabbage should  vacate these wet land
because we have formed enforcement  team is going to start operating
soon and whoever is found within these swamps will be charged in
courts of law accordingly. All the land titles that were acquired
within wet lands will be cancelled.

Lake Victoria environmental management Project offers 630 million
shillings to Mubende district to look after Katabalanga River because
it’s a tributary to Katonga river that pours her water into lake
Victoria.

River Katabalanga is currently being encroached on where all her
bounders have been encroached on by the various people that plant
cabbage ,maize, cassava while others have begun pouring soil into the
river to construct houses which has led to the reduction in water
levels as well as change in the environment within this area.

MUhumuza Willy ,Ssebabenga John, Kenneth Tusingwire, Sebandeke Simu
who have been operating in katabalanga river  explained that they have
legal license to operating with this area.

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