One person has been confirmed dead and five others are missing following a heavy down pour that triggered floods in Mbarara. The heavy rains on Wednesday night saw River Rwizi bursting its banks and flooding the lower parts of Mbarara town.
The three; Isaiah Tweheyo Kakuru, 30, and Janet Twinomugisha, 31, both residents of Kakoba ward, and Birari Ndolero, 50, a driver from Kamukuzi division, were arrested after uprooting demarcations erected by the National Environmental Management Authority-NEMA.
Emmy Katera, the Buhweju Resident District Commissioner, says the top district leadership is working with the environment department and police to arrest adamant people, who have continued to deplete wetlands in disregard of several warnings.
Buhweju District Police Commander Ben Nuwamanya says that the three had encroached on a bigger part of the wetland and turned it into a grazing and farming area. The suspects are now held at Buhweju Police Station.
The wetland, which borders the districts of Mbarara and Sheema, feeds into Kooga, another wetland and Rwizi River, the main source of water for thousands of people in Mbarara, Sheema and Isingiro districts.
The registration that started late November covers the districts of Mbarara, Bushenyi, Isingiro, Ntungamo, Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu, and Rubanda. It comes at the backdrop of complaints on the failure to control developments on the banks of River Rwizi in Mbarara and other major wetlands.
Mbarara Municipality Town Clerk Johnson Baryantuma Munono says the new plan seeks to address the challenge of slums and cater for the divisions of Nyakayojo, Kakiika and Biharwe that were annexed to the municipality during the expansion of boundaries in 2014.