Home Nature & Environment Environmental Police Unit Mounts crackdown on Wetland encroachment, evicts 300 in Bushenyi town

Environmental Police Unit Mounts crackdown on Wetland encroachment, evicts 300 in Bushenyi town

by Countryside Reports

BUSHENYI

Police in Bushenyi greater sub region have launched an operation to crack down on rampant wetland encroachment in the region.

The Bushenyi Greater Regional Environmental Protection Police Unit front line officer, Mr. Joseph Ssentamu told this website that the operation started mid-August, 2020 in Bushenyi-ishaka municipality and it will roll on to other parts of Greater Bushenyi.

The crackdown has seen at least 300 people evicted from wetlands of Rukindo, Bushenyi town and Kajurugo according to Mr. Ssentamu.

The move shoots in President Museveni’s April, 2020 letter directing the Ministry of Water and Environment to influence the eviction of encroachers on protected zones like wetlands, shoreline, river banks and government forests with immediate effect in a bid to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Mr. Ssentamu told Countryside Reports that crackdown left gardens destroyed, trenches and sand pits restored to ensure sustainable and proper wetland use.

According to the National Environmental Act, 2019, wetland resources should be utilized in a sustainable manner compatible with the continued presence of wetlands and their hydrological functions and service.

In Bushenyi, wetlands have been massively depleted especially during the COVID-19 lock down when most people concentrated on farming amid shortage of land.

“Because most of the activities were halted during the lockdown, most people turned to practicing farming in wetlands, but we are stopping them. We are also looking for people who dug the trenches in wetlands, so that they can be arrested and charged.” Mr. Sssentamu said

He added that arresting and eviction of wetland encroachers is being done to “serve as a lesson to the rest of the community members and inform them.to desist from depleting wetlands.”

The operation will continue to other areas under threat like Kyamuhunga,Nyabubaare, Bumbaire sub counties in Bushenyi and later to other districts of Bushenyi Greater.

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