Rice Farmers Still in Kibuku Wetlands Despite Government Directive to Vacate

  • by Brenda Nyangoma
  • August 8, 2018

A rice garden established in a wetland in eastern Uganda

Residents in areas of Budaka and Kibuku districts have not yet vacated Namatala and Limoto wetlands despite a directive by the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) six months ago.

Government had issued a six-month ultimatum, which elapsed in July this year, to farmers cultivating rice in wetlands to vacate them to restore the areas. The farmers have however refused to leave the areas in question.

Farmers that spoke to our reporter said that the government decision to evict them is unfair and unrealistic.
They said they would not leave because most of them depend on the wetlands to survive.

Authorities in Budaka District say that the government has no intentions of evicting them but only wants to establish new enterprises such as bee-keeping and fish farming which are in tandem with the nature of the environment.

Recently, the Minister of Water and Environment, Mr Sam Cheptoris, said the government’s intention is to protect and conserve environment.
“The government is concerned over the worsening degradation of wetlands. It is the reason the ministry has taken the directive,” he said.