28 December 2016

Uganda: Talk to Wetland Degraders Before Eviction - Museveni

Photo: Benjamin Jumbe /Daily Monitor
Land affected by sand mining activities in Lwera.

Ntungamo — President Museveni has advised that wetland encroachers should be encouraged to leave the wetlands on their own or face forceful evictions since they are destroying water sources leading to long dry spells and loss of water for production.

Delivering his Christmas message at St Mathew Cathedral Kyamate in Ntungamo District on Sunday, the president said there is need for encroachers of several wetlands to leave before they are evicted.

"Those invading wetlands need to move by themselves slowly without being pulled, without force. If we destroy the wetlands, where will we get water for irrigation?" President Museveni asked.

He had earlier on called for improved farming methods backed by irrigation to counter increasing change in environment.

The President said small holder farmers can only convert into successful commercial farmers if they embrace small scale irrigation to sustain crops all year.

"We shall come and negotiate slowly until they understand. Like my people of Rujumo (neighborhood of his wife's upcountry home of Irenga), I stood on that hill and saw all the wetlands have been degraded, how can a person put a granary on fire, now we are destroying a water granary. We now want people to move away slowly and they vacate centre of wetlands to the land that are suitable for their crop growing." President Museveni said.

The President also called for increased animal husbandry, especially with the practice of zerograzing, which can lead to increased milk production. He urged the community to engage in production of animal feeds that can sustain animals.

President Museveni was accompanied by his wife Janet Museveni, who is also the Minister for Education and other family members.

Speaking at the same event, Ms Janet Museveni emphasised the need to have children pack food to school so as to limit the increasing school dropout rates.

The South Ankole Bishop Nathan Ahimbisibwe said national development will not be realised unless the good ideas that are initiated at all levels are put in practice and the reality of the code name Kisanja hakuna mchezo is seen to be practiced.

He said the diocese will move on a theme 'Faith without action is a dead faith' for the next Christian year.

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