Tuesday March 11 2014

Govt probes Luweero forest land giveaway

Dan Wandera

The government is investigating the alleged encroachment and giveaway of land at a 160-acre forest reserve located in Nyimbwa Sub-county in Luweero District.

According to the commandant of the environment police, Mr Taire Idwege, the land is reportedly under threat from encroachers who purportedly got permission from the district land board.

“While the land can be given to individuals and companies for agro-forestry, eco-tourism, among other green projects which support mitigation and adaptation of climate change, the case for Nyimbwa Forest Reserve is different,” Mr Idwege said.

“The Minister for Environment received a complaint regarding the alleged encroachment on the forest reserve land. We shall evict the encroachers when the investigations are complete,” he added.

Mr Idwege said the land board had no authority to give away forest reserve land to any investor before it is de-gazetted.

According to documents seen by the Daily Monitor, the land board and the forestry department are behind the distribution and issuing of user permits to several companies and individuals.

Mr Samuel Mulwana, a district youth councillor, said some trees planted by youth on the land had been cut down yet they had been given permission by the board.

cap:A section of the forest reserve land on Kampala-Gulu highway in Luweero District which is under investigation by the ministry of Environment over alleged encroachment. PHOTO BY DAN WANDERA