Environmentalists Destroy Crop Gardens in Mbarara Wetlands

2238 Views Mbarara, Uganda

In short
David Nuwagaba, the Mbarara District Senior Environment Office, says they cleared all the crops to enable the wetland to regenerate.

 The National Environment Management Authority-NEMA backed by police and environmentalists under Active citizens Uganda has destroyed hundreds of crop gardens in wetlands in Kakiika division in Mbarara municipality.
The activists descended on the gardens on Monday and slashed down all crops in an attempt to restore the wetlands. The affected gardens were in Kangorogoro, Kabingo and Kitabwa in Kakiika division of Mbarara municipality.

Some of the destroyed crops included Bananas, sugarcane, beans, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. The wetland in question drains water into River Rwizi, which is a lifeline of millions of people in western and central Uganda.

David Nuwagaba, the Mbarara District Senior Environment Office, says they cleared all the crops to enable the wetland to regenerate. 

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Polly Muyambi, the chairperson Active Citizens Uganda, a community based organization operating in Mbarara, has appealed to government to enforce stringent measures to protect the wetlands.

Ivan Mukhone, the officer in charge of the Southwestern Environmental Protection Police Unit, says they are willing to give the necessary support to ensure that wetlands are restored. He says their work is to ensure the Ugandan environment is protected at all costs.
Some of the wetland encroachers say they were not information about the operation to allow them to harvest their crops. 

Joy Tugumisirize, one of the encroachers, says she lost five acres of eucalyptus trees.


About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.