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  • BUTIMBA VILLAGE COMMUNITY MEMBERS SEEK GUIDANCE ON LAND GRABBING THREATS

    Community members of Ijumangabo, Butimba Village, Kiziranfumbi Sub-county, and Hoima District have sought guidance from the Hoima Resident District commissioner (RDC) over Land grabbing threats received from Reserve Force Veterans coordinated by Sergeant Peter Bagonza who claim ownership of part of their land.

    In a letter addressed to the RDC with a subject line “RE-VISIT TO IJUMANGABO RESERVE FORCE POLITICAL WING SCHEDULED FOR 25TH AUGUST 2107”, signed by Sgt. Bagonza Peter indicates that the purpose of the visit to the land located in Kiziranfumbi Sub-county by the Reserve Force Veterans on 25th August 2017 was to solely check on the Force’s projects, talk to the people settling on and around it then start utilizing it for their Projects.

    Butimba village, being near the proposed site for the oil refinery is a hotspot for land grabbing.  Butimba LC1 Chairman Samuel Tugumisirize says Ijumangabo area has no Local Council Chairperson though the letter is duplicated to Ijumangabo LC1 and the land in question was only functional in the 1990s when the Police hired it to carryout trainings locally known as “Muchaka-Muchaka”.

    Reverend Fred Musimenta the Butimba sustainability village community Educator said that the RDC hadassuredthem that the Reserve force Veterans have no legal ownership of Ijumangabo area land.

    “The RDC told us that as Butimba residents we surround anyone who trespasses and we call him to take action.

    The Hoima Resident District CommissionerStephen Ekom confirmed to have received Objection from Butimba community members about the Ijumangabo land grabbing threats by Reserve Force veterans advising them on how to handle the matter if there are more actions by the perpetrators but refuted claims of having any knowledge about the said visit in a letter addressed to him.

    “There is no area in Butimba village reserved for any Government project as claimed by Reserve Force Veterans Coordinator Sgt. Peter Bagonza, he is only duping people but I advised the residents on what to do” Nyakahuma clarified.

    Sgt.Bagonza when reached for a comment said its true Ijumangabo has part of the land bordered by Ijumangabo River supplied by River Wambabya in Butimba village “political wing” which was hired for “Muchaka Muchaka” in 1990s but remained in the hands of Government he was silent about the next date of the planned visited, he still stood on his point of Government project start up on the said land.

    This acts as a milestone for NAPE since Butimba village in Kiziranfumbi Sub-county is one of NAPE’s Sustainability school program area of Advocacy,the Sustainability School Program initiated by NAPE as one of its project, advocates for strong Communities that fight for their rights.

    Story by Dorcus Drijaru

  • HOIMA RDC HAILS NAPE WORK ON ENVIRONMENT

     The Hoima Resident District Commissioner ( RDC) Mr.  Isaac Kawooya, has hailed the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) for its efforts in complementing government programs especially in the area of environmental protection and conservation.

     

    World Environment Day,2016
     The Hoima RDC, Mr. Isaac Kawooya (in checkered Coat) watering a tree he had just planted at the palace of the Bunyoro King in Hoima

     Kawooya particularly thanked NAPE for establishing the  Uganda Community Green Radio which he said was doing a  great job in mobilizing people in Bunyoro and neighbouring  areas to participate in environmental protection activities  aimed at mitigating climate change effects.

     “I thank NAPE and Community Green radio for not only  promoting environmental education amongst our people but  also demonstrating to them practically what they need to do to  keep our environment clean and conducive to live in. What  NAPE is doing compliments government’s programs on  environment and natural resources management”, Mr.  Kawooya explained.

     The RDC made these remarks on Wednesday 8th.June, 2016 at  Hoima Rukurato Hall while presiding over a function to  commemorate the World Environment Day (WED) organized  by NAPE.

     Earlier, the RDC together with other Hoima District leaders, r epresentatives of the Uganda Police Force, representatives of  CSOs, listeners of the Community Green Radio, students and  members of the public had participated in a tree planting  exercise in several places in Hoima Municipality including  Hoima Public school and at the Palace of the Bunyoro Kitara  King. The RDC said he was delighted to see NAPE planting  and encouraging communities to plant trees.

    NAPE celebrated the world environment Day under the theme “Conserve wildlife, sustain livelihoods”. Mr. Frank Muramuzi, the NAPE Executive Director said that the World Environment Day is a great day which everybody needs to take seriously. “This in an important day which we all need to take seriously. It reminds us of our obligations to the environment and mother earth,” he said

    world environment day,2016 in Hoima
    We Listen: Listeners of the Community Green Radio and students from Sustainability Clubs in Schools match in Hoima Municipality during WED celebrations

    The event in Hoima started with a procession around Hoima Municipality comprised of community members, members of Sustainability Clubs, members of Community Radio listeners club, politicians, members of the Uganda Police force and the civil society. The people carried placards with different messages such as, “Our wildlife, our wealth”, Save our forests Save our future, Environmental Education for Sustainability"

    NAPE Senior Program Officer in charge of Administration, Mr. Geoffrey Kamese underscored need for individuals to exercise responsibility in as far environmental protection is concerned.

    World environment day celebrations started way back in 1972. It is celebrated on June 5th every year and this year’s world celebrations were held in Angola under the theme, “Go wild for Life” and the National celebrations were Gulu district on June 6,2016

  • How oil exploration and other anthropogenic activities have affected 13 wetlands around Lake Albert

    About 13 wetlands in Hoima and Buliisa districts are drying up due to human-induced activities threatening the lives of humans and other beings that depend on these eco-systems for survival.

    The affected wetlands include Rwencururu, Nyakaralike, Wambabya and Kadiki in Kiziranfumbi Sub County, Hoima district.

    Others are Hoimo wetland a confluent of river Waki that is joined by numerous streams among which include Isimba stream that joins River Hoimo in Kitoba Sub County in Hoima district to supplement the water pressure at Kabalega dam at the escarpment in Buseruka Sub County.  

    Hoimo wetland has, however, changed its colour to foul black with a strong stench coming out of it. It has reportedly been polluted by Bwendero Dairy Farm; a distilling plant in Bwiragura parish in Kitoba sub county in Hoima district, burning the papyrus and other shrubs grown around.

    The plant that uses sugar molasses to distil spirits and gins discharges its effluent into the stream flowing into Lake Albert through Hoimo swamp, something that has affected the biodiversity and the social life along this eco-system.

    Endagered: The Flora on this wetland has died up due to high acidity resulting from distilled mollases

    Besides contaminating the eco system, massive growing of high water consuming eucalyptus and pine trees within in the swamps has also contributed to serious drainage. Green radio carried an on-spot investigation and found out that Bwendero farm had also planted more than 20 acres of eucalyptus trees within the catchment area of River Hoimo and Wambabya river line to get firewood for distillation. This has led to the recession of the wetland.

    Authorities at the distillation factory admit some loopholes but have promised to fix them to save the wetland.  Sam Kwebiha, the chemist and factory advisor says they have a roadmap to ensure that they comply with NEMA regulations within 5 years. He says they put up three waste containment lagoons to control the effluent from flowing into the water.

    Plantation of pine and eucalyptus trees by farmers has also been cited in Kanwabarogo, Kijumba and Muruyanja wetlands in Kigaaga, Buseruka Sub County. The trees have been planted close to the swamps leading to the recession of the once water stagnant areas.

    Kadri Kirungi,the Hoima district chairman says findings of the district Natural resources committee show all wetlands in Hoima Municipality have direct car washing, accessing the water freely in a range of 0-30 meter from highest water mark.

    Rosemary Nyangoma, the Hoima district Natural Resources officer, says they have already started implementing council resolution to cut down all the trees planted within wetlands. She says they are doing this in accordance with the NEMA act adding that all tree plantations in wetlands will be affected.

    Wambabya, Kanywabarogo and Muruyanja have already been marked by UNRA and will suffer the construction of the Kiziranfumbi-Kabare tarmac road, one of the 10 oil roads to be constructed in Hoima district. The road connects to the proposed oil refinery and international airport in Kabare parish. Besides, the construction of power line and feeder road developments to the proposed refinery has also had a direct impact on these wetlands as electric polls and feeder roads pass through these ecosystems especially in Kiziranfumbi Sub County.

    Lucy Mbuubi, a member of Butimba Sustainability Conservation Association in Kiziranfumbi sub county says the drying of these wetlands will gradually influence climate change, thus affecting their dependences on agriculture.

    Nicholas Magara, the Western Uganda coordinator for wetland management at the ministry of water and Environment, told community Green Radio that the ministry has already instructed NEMA to reclaim and demarcate all the wetlands encroached on by the human activities.

    In Buliisa the affected wetlands include, Kamonkure and Kigwera. These wetlands are part of the Murchison Falls-Albert Delta Wetland System at its confluence with Lake Albert (The Ramsar site).

    This delta forms a shallow area that is important for water/lake birds. This wetland stretch also works as breeding ground for Lake Albert fisheries, containing indigenous fish species. It also forms a feeding and watering refuge for wildlife during dry seasons. However, fishermen have settled there causing drainage.

    The recession of these wetlands and rivers flowing into Lake Albert, have squarely contributed to the continuous recession of the lake too, according to communities who are direct beneficiaries of this ecosystem.

    This Article has been authored by Robert Katemburura with Support from African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME)

  • Sustainability School Bulletin 7th Edition