More than 15,000 pastoralists who were evicted from a disputed forest reserve in Ssembabule district are starving. They evicted from Kazooba Forest Reserve last week by local authorities in Ssembabule led a team of police officers.
More than 15,000 pastoralists who were evicted from a disputed forest reserve in Ssembabule district are starving. They were evicted last week from Kazooba Forest Reserve by local authorities in Ssembabule led a team of police officers. They were accused of illegally occupying about 28 square miles of land belonging to Kazooba Forest Reserve and five square miles of Bigo Byamugenyi cultural site in Ntuusi Sub County.
Another group was settled a piece of land belonging to a private company owned by Emmanuel Kamayingo, Ntusi sub county LC 3 chairman. Following their eviction, the pastoralists pitch camped in Buteraniro, Ntuusi trading centre, Kabeho and Karushonshomezi villages. However, the pastoralists are facing a severe food crisis and pasture for their animals. Juliet Mutesi, a mother of six children says that she is unable to feed her family because she has no money to buy them food.
Mutesi says that she spent all the money she had on her and now has nothing left to support her family. She says that she looks on helplessly as her children cry because of hunger. According to Mutesi, her family last had food on Wednesday 7th when the cops who evicted them gave them some posho they had prepared for their lunch. She claims that her three children aged between 10months and 6 years are malnourished due to lack of food.
46 –year- old Emilio Kwezira another victim of the eviction accuses government and President Yoweri Museveni for neglecting them. He accuses government of evicting them without providing them with alternative land for settlement and any form of assistance. Kwezira says that he last had a meal on Wednesday, adding that he is now surviving on boiled water. He explains that he has tried to dig in the neighborhood in exchange for food but even his neighbors have no food.
Amooti Migadde, Ntusi Sub county LC V councilor says that over 200 children affected by the eviction. Migadde says to save their children from hunger some of the affected pastoralists have started stealing food from the neighboring villages to feed their children fearing this could spark of violence. Additionally he says that the pastoralists are facing problems of poor sanitation and accommodation.
Many of the pastoralists sleep in the open without warming clothing and bedding. He asks government to intervene and provide food, medical services and tarpaulin to the pastoralists saying they are all desperate Ugandans. Dr. Elly Muhumuza, Sembabule LC5 Chairman and Kamara Bayeye, the RDC say the district does not have any food to give them. Currently, Simon Peter Wafana, the Southern Region Police Spokesperson has pitched camp in the forest reserve to prevent the evicted pastoralists from returning.
foodand accomodation crisis
sembabule forest reserve encraochmenet