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Environment

3 Arrested in Buhweju Wetlands

Jumaine Kilibenda and Simon Baguma after being arrested
Jumaine Kilibenda and Simon Baguma after being arrested

Police in Buhweju together with environmental authorities have arrested 3 people in the district for encroaching on Kirungu wetland.

The arrested are Simon Baguma (42), the LC 1 chairman of Kyesika village, Jumaine Kilibenda (57) both from Karungu sub-county; and Vereriano Bagumire (66) from Akarukoma village in Rwengwe sub-county Buhweju district.

Buhweju DPC Ben Nuwamanya confirmed the arrest saying that the three were earlier warned of clearing a 20 acre swamp but they failed to comply and continued grazing their cattle in the said wetland; until they were picked up in an operation that was carried out on Monday night.

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“We have been giving out several notices to the suspects but they kept a deaf ear to the matter,” Celemesia Birungi the district environmental officer said

Birungi warned that the operation is still ongoing until all the wetland encroachers are arrested.

The environmental enforcement team further descended onto the Sub Counties of Karungu, Rwengwe and uprooted several gardens of millet and farms found in the swamps.

Mbarara RDC, Capt. Martha Asiimwe commended the job done by the team, noting that while in the recent concluded Kyankwanzi retreat; the leaders were asked to restore and protect all ecological systems in the sensitive areas including wetlands, rivers by planting trees and protecting water catchment areas.

 “We don’t want our grand children to ask us what we did during our time when all the echo systems were being destroyed” She said

Other wetlands encroached on in Buhweju are Kyenjogyera and Kanyabukanja which are both major water catchment areas for River Rwizi that pours its waters in Lake Victoria.

 

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