President orders officials to block new factories in wetlands

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Wetlands are an important natural buffer in mitigating, forestalling, and adapting to climate change. Photo: UN Water

By Vision Reporter

Decrying what he termed as increased degradation of wetlands, President Yoweri Museveni has ordered government officials to ensure that no new factories are setup in the wetlands.

He gave the directive during the 39th Tarehe Sita anniversary celebrations in Butalango, Nakaseke district headquarters yesterday

“Many wetlands have factories in them. These we cannot remove, but I will not allow any new ones to be established there,” the president said.

To the attentive huge crowds, who included top army officials, politicians and civilians from different districts of Luwero Triangle, Museveni said he recently ordered a fresh probe to establish the effect of the encroachment.

The president said the probe will include interrogating parish and sub-county chiefs, sub-county internal security officers, district internal security officers and district police commanders, among other leaders, over what he termed as failure to act when people are encroaching on wetlands.

Museveni listed some of the wetlands in Wakiso, Luwero and Nakaseke, which he said had been destroyed by human activities.

Meanwhile, the president ordered that persons with food crops in the wetlands to vacate them immediately after harvesting.

“Those who have grown crops in the wetlands should harvest their food and leave,” he said, underscoring that during his journey to Butalango from Kampala, he noticed that people were increasingly encroaching on wetlands.

Water proof

The 2019 water and environment sector review report shows that the wetland cover has reduced from 15.6% in 1994 to 8.4% in 2019.

In 2008, the wetland cover had declined to 10.9% before reducing further to 8.9% in 2015.

The wetland act 1995, bars anyone from reclaiming or draining a wetland. It also bars drilling or tunneling in a manner that is likely to have adverse effects on the wetland.

The law also outlaws any activities which could have adverse effects on plants or animals in the wetland. People are also not allowed to build structures with in the wetlands.

 

 

 

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