Environmental Officers Demand Representation on Land Boards

2181 Views Nakasongola, Uganda

In short
James Bond Kunobere, the Nakasongola District Environment Officer, says sub county area land committees and district land boards have repeatedly parceled out public and protected land to private developers in disregard of environmental concerns.

Environment officers in Greater Luweero districts are demanding representation on land boards to stem the allocation of protected land to developers and degradation of natural resources. The officers are pushing for representation on land boards as ex-officios to offer guidance to the land board members.

James Bond Kunobere, the Nakasongola District Environment Officer, says sub county area land committees and district land boards have repeatedly parceled out public and protected land to private developers in disregard of environmental concerns.
 
 
According to Kunobere, the reckless allocation of land to developers has triggered conflicts as the new land lords block access to natural resources like wetlands.

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Teopista Gateese, the Luweero District Environmental Officer, says although the physical planning act provides for the establishment of a physical planning committee where all departmental heads are expected to sit and scrutinize the land applications, but the committees are nonfunctional.

 
Members of Luweero district land board declined to comment on the demands of the education office, while the tenure of the Nakasongola district land board members expired. 

But retired Lieutenant Sam Kigula, the Nakasongola LC 5 Chairperson has backed the push of the environment officers for representation on land boards.
 

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Persis Namuganza, the the State Minister for Lands says both the ministry and cabinet directed that no land should be allocated to developers without the involvement of environment officer. 
She however, notes that land board officials tend to ignore the directive because of corruption. She notes that the lands ministry is in the process of streamlining the operation of district land boards, adding that the new changes will be communicated in due time.
 
 According to Namuganza, government suspended further allocation of public land until new changes are put in place. She says any land titles issued in disregard of the directive will be cancelled. 

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.