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Wakiso boss names and shames ‘untouchable’ sand miners grabbers of protected forest

Matiya Lwanga Bwanika says that the people involved in degrading the environment especially participating in unacceptable sand mining, wiping out natural forests by cutting down trees and thereafter grabbing land meant for forest reserves are mostly high profile people who are known to be untouchable and therefore no policy from the current regime can apprehend them.

Wakiso, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | Naming and shaming the perpetrators of environmental degradation is the only way for National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and National Forestry Authority (NFA) to control the rate at which natural resources are getting depleted, the Wakiso LC5 chairperson has said.

Matiya Lwanga Bwanika says that the people involved in degrading the environment especially participating in unacceptable sand mining, wiping out natural forests by cutting down trees and thereafter grabbing land meant for forest reserves are mostly high profile people who are known to be untouchable and therefore no policy from the current regime can apprehend them.

While addressing officials from the central forest reserves and Wakiso leaders at the district headquarters on Thursday, Bwanika said that without naming and shaming the perpetrators, even the remaining natural resources will not be saved.

He said that such highly connected people are now deforesting at a high rate and taking away almost everything in all parts of the country yet they already amassed wealth which they can use to buy free land away from the one meant for protecting the environment.

Bwanika expressed sympathy with the district technical staff in the natural resources department who he said are working under duress because of the pressure exerted on them by shameless self-seekers who have no sense to protect the environment. 

Bwanika has named Wakiso Resident District Commissioner Rose Kirabira as one of the people who should be shamed for instructing the district forest officer to allow a senior army officer take over Gunda central forest when she was still deputy RDC in charge of Entebbe and a candidate for Parliament in Mawogola North whose brother is a very senior personality in the country, whom he accused of engaging himself in massive unsustainable sand mining activities at Nangombe in Kasanje also in the Entebbe side of Wakiso district.

Jonathan Mugisha the Range Manager in charge of Lake Shores at National Forestry Authority has however told Wakiso district leaders that there are houses under tourism which are authorized to be constructed in forest reserves purposely for echo-tourism development depending on the plans presented to NFA and are approved.

He said that the authority is waiting for President Yoweri Museveni’s guidance on how encroachers should be handled after coming up with a civil way of handling the matter which he demanded for and a report was dully given to him. 

Paul Sekabira a councilor from Kakiri sub county has also faulted NFA for remaining silent and kept their hands folded when forests are being wiped out. 

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