President Museveni has directed the minister for Water and Environment to remove all encroachers in wetlands shore lines and water banks with immediate effect.
In a strong-worded letter he wrote to the Water and Environment minister Hon. Sam Cheptoris, Museveni directed that encroachers in wetlands be cleared, and local leaders who never took action be dismissed.
Museveni said it is clear that it is suicidal for people to encroach on forests, steep mountain ridges, wetlands, shore lines and river banks. He said government worked out an environmental plan to protect these areas long ago, but this has been ignored leading to the current grave consequences.
“I am therefore directing you to remove all the people on the wetlands, shore line, river banks and government forests except the historical ones of Busoga-Bukedi and Kigyezi that were misled by the earlier governments of those days.” President Museveni’s letter reads in part.
The president blamed former governments that introduced a wrong culture of growing rice in wetlands and misled the people in Bukeddi, Busoga and Kigyezi.
Museveni said government will use the model of aquaculture where people are helped to move to fish ponds and away from rice growing in swamps since these are for water catchment not gardens.
He said with exception of those in Bukedi, he can confirm that the encroachers on wetlands, shore lines and river banks elsewhere are not bona-fide people.
He said they are not genuine and conscious liars who must be evicted.
President Museveni directed the ministry of environment to not only remove the encroachers, but work with local governments to ensure that parish and sub-county chiefs who never took action against encroachers be dismissed.