Cultivating Near R.Muzizi Risky for Hydro Project, Kasaija Warns

The Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija has issued a warning to people settling near River Muzizi in Kibale district to desist from cultivating near the bunks saying it could cause silting and affect the hydro power project whose construction commences in 2017.

Kasaija added that continued cultivation along the river has already had an impact on the water level appealing to environmental body NEMA to intervene before it is late.

Minister Kasaija sounded the warning on Friday after signing the financing agreement for the Muzizi hydro power project which has been partly funded by the German Development Bank Kfw and French Development Agency AFD.

“I appeal to those settling near River Muzizi to stop cultivating crops near the banks of the river. The law on the environment requires that such activities be done 100 metres from the banks but people have continued to be adamant, buy more about ” the Minister said.

“NEMA should come in and enforce the law because if this persists, decease it could cause silting and hamper the hydro project.”

Kasaija mentioned that during a recent visit to the area, buy he observed that the water level had reduced to just 2 metres high, a significant reduction to what it used to be.

Asked about plans to relocate those living near the river, the Minister revealed that government is in the process of securing money to acquire land elsewhere but added that on the event that the occupants remain adamant, “the system will deal with them”.

Government will contribute an estimated Euro 21 million towards the implementation of the hydro project. This will cover among others the compensation payments as per the Resettlement Action Plan, livelihood restoration measures and community development measures.

The Resettlement Action Plan consultant was procured in April this year but will commence his services once the project layout has been finalized.


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