Sylas Byaruhanga

Restoration of the already degraded wetlands in Ibanda District has kicked off with cutting down of all the trees, banana plantation and clearing of all the crops grown in Karombe wetland in Rukiri Sub County in a tour led by the ministry of Water and Environment.

Prior to the tour, a team from the ministry of Water and Environment held a meeting with the District officials where a resolution was made to clear all the crops that are found grown in the wetlands.

While addressing the area residents and the local authorities who gathered to witness the restoration exercise, Mr. Businge Daniel the Ministry of Water and Environment Western region coordinator said the exercise for the demarcation of all wetlands is going on not only in Ibanda but also in the other parts of the Country.

“Plans are being made by the ministry to demarcate all the wetlands in the country so that people know where they should stop while practicing their usual activities” Businge said, adding that “whoever is aggrieved with what the ministry is doing should seek redress from courts of laws”.

Ibanda District was this week hit by the heavy rain storm which left two people of the same family dead and property worth millions ravaged which according to Tom Nuwagira the Senior Environment Officer is attributed to rampant degradation in the district.

The Resident District Commissioner Mary Bashongoka sounded the warning to the people living in the wetlands across the district to vacate immediately if they are to survive the yet to come hurricanes. “If you know you are staying in the wetland, that land is not yours, vacate immediately or else you die of landslides, hail storms and floods.” Bashongoka said.

Bashongoka vowed never to keep quiet and watch while nature is being depleted. “As a representative of the President, I will not see us bewitching ourselves though destroying the nature and keep quiet.”

Other affected wetlands to be restored in the district are Rwanyabihuka in Kijongo Sub County, Ndoragi, Kemitozo and Ntungamo in Nyabuhikye Sub County, Kabobo, Mpunda and Katembe in Rukiri Sub County and Rushango in Nyamarebe.

Karombe wetland connects Ibanda to Kitagwenda District.

Rukiri Sub County is the source of Mukazi Anyara river that supplies gravity water to Ibanda Town but according to the Vice Chairman LCV Mr. Tumubwine Elias, the water level of this river has gone down due to persistent degradation in the area which has caused inadequate water in the district.

Tumubwine also said that the district has earmarked funds to help in ensuring wetlands are restored.