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Gov’t restores only 1% of 70,000 hectares targeted wetland since 2012

This is a laughable 0.0095% wetlands restored of the 70,000 hectares’ (760 sq kms) target set by the year 2030, with half of the time gone. 18 out 22 districts were covered in the wetland restoration process.

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The Ministry of Water and Environment has restored a laughable 6.644.939 hectares of targeted wetlands between financial years 2012/2013 and 2019/2020. This is a percentage of 0.0095% wetlands restored of the 70,000 hectares’ (760 km) target set by the year 2030. 18 out 22 districts were covered in the wetland restoration process.

By 1995 the wetland coverage on the surface area of Uganda was 15.6%  comprised of 37 wetlands, but over time, this has gradually reduced so much to 10.9% by 2009.

Charles Muwonge, the Principal Public Relations Officer Ministry of Water and Environment says now in 2020, the coverage stands at 8.9% in only 21 wetlands, and it is projected that by 2040, it will only be left with only 1.6% of wetland in Uganda.

Muwonge, says that a growing aggregate of 480.39km of wetland boundary were demarcated across the country, up from 226.6km, representing 96.1% of the planned target of 500km by 2020.

John Kiguli, a resident of Luzira says that Uganda has very good laws on wetland protection but ‘untouchable’ investors degrade the wetlands most.

James Waira Majegere, Bunhya East member of parliament says government should change from attacking people in wetlands in rural areas to those in the urban areas like Kampala, Entebbe, Wakiso and Mukono.

In 2017 The Government of Uganda and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a financing agreement for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) project to restore degraded wetlands, improve ecosystems, strengthen climate information and early warning systems.

The Green Climate Fund Project will restore an estimated area of at least 760 square kilometers of degraded wetlands and associated catchments in 20 districts in Eastern and South Western regions of Uganda which have experienced the highest levels of wetland degradation and climate change impacts.

The agreement was signed by on behalf of government Matia Kasaija, the Finance Minister and Sam Cheptoris, the Minister of Water and Environment signed on behalf of the Government and Ms. Rosa Malango, the UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator for Uganda signed on behalf of UNDP, at the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development offices in Kampala.

The eight-year “Building Resilient Communities, Wetland Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda” project is supported with 88.8 billion shillings (US$24) million grant from the Green Climate Fund, 7.4 billion shillings (US$2) million from UNDP and 67 billion shillings (US$18.12) million in co-financing from the Government of Uganda.

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