Mbarara — The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) in conjunction with the Environmental Police in Mbarara District, have destroyed hectares of gardens and eucalyptus trees that were illegally planted in reclaimed swamps in Mabira and Rutoma parishes in Rwanyamahembe Sub-county, Mbarara District.
The western region Nema focal person, Mr Jeconious Musigwire, said the gardens and eucalyptus plantations, which were destroyed, were those around the wetlands of Mabira Dam in Mabira parish and Kariro Dam in Rutoma parish, Rwanyamahembe Sub-county.
He advised residents not to dare encroach on wetlands because they are public resources and are gazzetted by the law.
Mr Musingwire said the siltation on the two dams is alarming and as Nema, they cannot sit back and watch as wetlands are being encroached upon.
He warned all those who are still carrying out their activities in wetlands that they will face the full force of the law because as Nema, they will not allow any person to destroy the environment under their watch.
Mr Musingwire reminded those who have defied eviction orders and continued to stay and operate around the banks of River Rwizi to vacate immediately.
Commenting on reports about people who are allegedly extorting money from unsuspecting encroachers and promising to defend them in courts of law, Mr Musingwire called them thieves.