By Micheal Atwakiire
Sheema: Authorities in Sheema led by the area Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Frank Kyereere, District Police Commander (DPC) Sp. Birungi Scovia and the Environmental Officer Patrick Baryatunga on 18 July cut down plantations of more than 100 people alleged to have encroached on Orusindura wetland in Kitagata town council, Sheema District.
Among the affected people were the Mayor of Kitagata Town Council Mr. David Atwiine and his Councillor Kakogoso who had planted among others; coffee, matooke, trees and cassava in the wetland.
Residents said, the RDC had recently advised them to uproot their already planted crops but many had not yet responded to the command.
The area RDC said, he did all following the President’s directive and advised whoever attempts to decline new developments to face the Law.
“I thank some people of kitagata who responded positively to our warnings however, some people rejected cutting their plantations and that’s why we are here. Those who will disrupt our program shall be worked on in accordance to the law,” Said Kyerere.
The affected Kitagata Mayor Atwiine said, he planted trees, banana and coffee in a wetland thinking he was doing the right thing but it was unfortunate when the Government passed a resolution to slash down all he had planted.
“The RDC told me to cut down my plantation but for sure there isn’t any normal parent who would cut her own breast. Surely there wasn’t any way I could cut down my own plantations have invested in a lot of money,” Atwiine said.
Eli Muhwezi from a Non-Governmental Organization
(NGO) environmental protection unit in Sheema urged leaders to sensitize
citizens to preserve the environment
“At least now we have started seeing a working Government but all along it has been sleeping, I now request these good Sheema leaders to look good species of trees which don’t make wetlands dry and supply them to residents,” Muhwezi said.
During the Presidential State of Nation Address earlier this year, Museveni requested leaders to force anyone from wetlands and sensitize them on dangers resulting from encroaching them.