14 July 2005

Uganda: Nakaseke Tree Planting Blocked

Kampala — President Yoweri Museveni's directive on eviction of thousands of encroachers from forest reserves has prompted herdsmen in the newly created district of Nakaseke to block commercial tree planting in Kinyogoga forest.

"They interfered with the commercial tree planting within the reserve," said Allan Kwingira of the National Forestry authority (NFA).

He said the encroachers said Museveni had cleared them to graze in the forest reserve.

Luweero RDC ordered the herdsmen, saying they had misunderstood Museveni's recent statement on forests.

In the statement, Museveni asked forest authorities to show cause why some of the forests should be maintained as forest reserves.

They compiled and submitted a report last month with forest reserves ranked in importance.

Gaster Kiyingi from the NFA, said state minister for environment Jeje Odongo submitted the report last month.

Kyakampinini and Kamusenene forests in Ngoma and Wakyato were affected by encroachment.

He also said herdsmen who had settled in Kamusenene would be given permits to move deeper into the forest reserve. People countrywide are encroaching on forests, saying Museveni had given them a go-ahead.

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