Kakumiro authorities tighten on wetland encroachers

Men harvest rice in Hoima River at Kyakakoizi Village in Kitoba Sub-county, Hoima District.

Authorities in Kakumiro have scaled up efforts to fight against wetland encroachment in the district as a major line of attack against climate change that is causing sleepless nights among environmentalists world over.

This follows empirical encroachment on and depletion of more than a few wetlands in that part of Bunyoro raising eyebrows of the district authorities.

The Kakumiro District Chairman, Joseph Senkusu Sentayi, is apprehensive about the rate at which wetlands are being destroyed especially for maize and banana growing putting the district at the margin of experiencing future irreversible extreme dry weather conditions once the perpetrators go with impunity.

To avert the detrimental acts on the environment, the perpetrators have been given an ultimatum of six months to have vacated the wetlands to pave way for their self restoration above and beyond using that time to sensitise the residents about the importance of wetlands to biodiversity.

“The grace period of six months given to the encroachers to have vacated the wetlands is purposely to enable them harvest their crops and not plant more crops there. Anybody who will breach the directive will face the wrath of the law,’ warns Mr Sentayi.

Mr Sentayi says the district has started experiencing water shortage with sources either drying up or water flow reducing; attributing it to wetland degradation by people who target achieving ephemeral benefits which consequently lead to disastrous conditions in future.

The Kakumiro Resident District Commissioner, Daniel Kikoola, says local leaders in Kakumiro have already been engaged to ensure that wetlands and the environment in general are protected from the brutal hands of people who disregard conservation.

He urges the local leaders to sensitise residents about the importance of protecting the environment since it has already been noticed that majority people of Kakumiro have invaded wetlands for farming either little aware of the dire cost or deliberately destroying them for selfish gains.

A fortnight ago, three people were arrested in Bugangaizi East County, Kakumiro district for encroaching on wetlands.

If the current environmental insensitivity continues, Bunyoro will soon experience unprecedented extreme hot weather conditions because of the massive deforestation taking place in all districts of the region in favour of agriculture.

The indiscriminate massive tree destruction for sugarcane growing by both sugar companies and sugarcane out growers, tree felling for timber and encroachment on wetlands for subsistence agriculture undoubtedly puts Bunyoro at the worst level she has ever experienced since her existence.

Untold and wanton destruction of Bugoma central forest reserve in Kyangwali sub-county, Kikuube district does not require rocket science for a non environmentalist to remark irrefutably that it is an assassination of the once cool weather pattern the region has enjoyed for centuries.

Once oil production begins in Bunyoro without forests to sink the carbon, human health will be affected while wild animals will also be left without any habitat that will eventually increase on the already existing human-wildlife conflict in the region.

It is, therefore, incumbent upon any environment sensitive person to hoist a red flag against the destruction of Mother Nature for a region free from devastating climate changes.


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