LAND COMMITTEE IN RWAMUTONGA CHAIRED BY SUSTAINABILITY SCHOOL EDUCTOR BRINGS SANNITY TO COMMUNITIES

Sanity is slowly returning to Rwamutonga village in Bugambe Sub County in Hoima district between the land grabbing victims and their oppressors; Mr. Tibagwa Joshua and Robert Basingaraho following the land committee that was put up to address insecurity and land conflicts.


The committee which is chaired by Alozyious Onzima, the community educator for NAPE’s Rwamutonga Sustainability village is aimed at bringing all the parties together so that they can utilize the land awaiting the case in court between Tibagwa and the locals on the rightful owner of the land.


Onzima says the victims were facing unrest, accusations and interference from security personnel especially from Tibagwa’s side who were alleging that they were destroying his property and not allowing him to use his land of which the committee has tried to solve.


“ Some of us are even in prison on aggravated robbery, others would even fear to sleep in their houses following threats from Tibagwa and on the other side, the Tibagwa’s side would fear to use their genuine land but now there is harmony,” said Onzima


The committee dubbed “Bamugereire land committee” was put up on the advice of the Land Inquiry Commission, chaired by Justice Catherine Bagumereire, which visited Hoima district at the end of August this year.


The 11 member committee also has Mr. Atich Nelson, the LC11 chairperson for Katanga parish, Mr. Robert Basingaraho and Tibagwa Joshua as ex-officials.
Atich Nelson says the victims are waiting for the ruling for wrongful eviction by Tibagwa which was adjourned from 19th September this year to February 2018 by Masindi High Court.
He says they are also waiting for the report from the Land Inquiry Commission which he attributed the adjournment to.

COMPILED BY PRECIOUS NATURINDA

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATIONISTS HAIL COMMUNITY GREEN RADIO FOR PROVIDING A PLATFORM TO CONSERVE THE FORESTS IN BUNYORO

Environmental conservationists operating in Bunyoro sub regio have hailed NAPE for establishing Community Green Radio which has given them a platform to address the masses on the need to protect and conserve the environment.
This was during the visit to Ongo Community Forest in Masindi district and Bugoma Central Forest Reserve in Hoima district on 10th and 11th October 2017 respectively by NAPE and its implementing partners; Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO), the Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) of the Shared Resources, Joint Solutions (SRJS).
The field visit was aimed at learning and appreciating the initiatives taken by communities and different stakeholders in promoting food security, water provision and climate resilience amidst oil exploration and forest degradation challenges through sustainable land use and forest conservation.

WE WORK HERE: NFA's Stuart Maniraguha explains to Mr. Henk during a field visit to Bugoma forest in October this year. Community Green radio has been working with authorities and communities to ensure forests are protected and conserved.

Despite massive sugarcane growing in Masindi which is a threat to food security, the Ongo community in Budongo Sub-County have shunned the move and embarked on planting trees and rehabilitating Ongo Community river line Forest as they grow food crops. The forest that is in Budongo forest corridors in Masindi which sits on 197 hectares is being managed by Ongo Forest Community Land Association and supported by ECOTRUST.
While addressing the partners, Ms. Pauline Nantongo, the ECOTRUST Executive Director hailed Community Green Radio for always hosting their team whenever they want to talk to communities on planting trees for their own benefit as well as environmental conservation.
 “As ECOTRUST we need to thank Community Green Radio for hosting my staff. This has helped us talk to wider community whenever we want to talk to the communities on the need to plant trees and adopt best land use practices where trees can be planted with food crops to address food security,” Ms. Nantongo said
In a field visit to Bugoma forest reserve where NAPE has been supporting National Forestry Authority in carrying out community engagement meetings with other stakeholders to harness sustainable management solutions of conserving the forest reserve, it was observed that communities adjacent to the forest are also planting trees alongside food crops.
Mr. Stuart Maniraguha, the NFA manager for Budongo systems applauded NAPE for supporting NFA and establishing Community Green Radio which has become a mouthpiece for environmental conservation in Bunyoro sub region.
“Communities now realize the need to protect the forest reserve which had become a hot spot for sugarcane growers and other illegal activities. The radio has strongly helped us in conserving Bugoma by exposing those engaged in illegal activities in the forest and giving us a platform to talk to communities,” said Mr. Maniraguha.
Mr. Rajab Bwengye, the Coordinator of Programs at NAPE hailed the initiative of communities for actively getting involved in tree planting near the forest reserves which he said is good to for food security and increasing the acreages of forests.
The radio has played a very big role in exposing threats faced by Bugoma forest like agricultural encroachers, timber cutting and political interference.
 Early this year, the former Hoima Municipality Mayor, Francis Atugonza was claiming 239 hectares in Bugoma forest reserve to be of Ababyasi clan. Bunyoro Kingdom is also battling a court case with NFA claiming ownership of 5777 hectares of land under Block 2 of the forest reserve in Kyangwali Sub County in Hoima district.
Shared Resources Joint Solutions is a five year program which focuses on strengthening civil society to promote International Public Goods (IPGs) which is food security, water supply, climate resilience and biodiversity in Murchison and Queen Elizabeth Landscapes through lobby and advocacy.
COMPILED BY PRECIOUS NATURINDA