Sunday March 30 2014

Museveni orders SG to act on wetland encroachers

President Museveni looks at the site map of the

President Museveni looks at the site map of the catchment area of the new Lubigi Sewerage Treatment Plant after commissioning it on Friday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE 

By Stephen Otage & Ismail Musa Ladu


President Museveni has ordered the Solicitor General to take action against wetland encroachment, saying settlers have turned it into a source of compensation yet swamps belong to the government.

While commissioning the Lubigi Sewerage Treatment Plant on Friday, the President said government projects on wetlands are often frustrated because encroachers demand for compensation before they can vacate them.

Mr Museveni’s orders follow a request by the area LC1 chairman calling for the expedition of compensation of locals who were displaced by the Lubigi sewerage works after learning that the area MP, Mr Moses Kasibante, had in the initial stages of the project, mobilised residents against the European Union and German-funded project.

“Who is Kasibante? Tell him I will do to him what I did to the MPs who wanted to usurp the work of the police when the Butaleja Woman MP died. Such projects do not have politics attached to them because they benefit everybody,” he told residents.

Mr Museveni also asked the Lubaga Resident City Commissioner, Mr Zaina Muwonge, to sensitise residents about laws on wetlands.
“I am going to talk to the Solicitor General to come and explain to these people more about the wetlands because I have just been told that even the 1900 agreement says wetlands belong to the government,” he said.

Recently, Mr Freddie Ruhindi, the Deputy Attorney General, expressed concern why the National Environment Management Authority was not implementing a cabinet directive instructing them to recall all land titles which have been issued on protected areas like swamps, wetlands and forests yet degradation and encroachment.

About the Lubigi plant
The newly-commissioned sewerage treatment plant has been constructed at the cost of about Shs50 billion as part of the Lake Victoria Environmental program to save the lake from further degradation and it is going to treat sewerage from places like Makerere, Mulago, Bwaise, Kawempe and Kalerwe which have been draining directly to the lake.