The model promotes the regeneration of lands that have been cleared for farming. It aims to improve the productivity of agricultural lands while increasing tree cover and biodiversity through the management of the tree stumps of indigenous trees to facilitate regeneration
Mariam Kaberuka, the Luwero Deputy Resident District Commissioner, said that they can’t do much to stop the environmental degradation because some violators possess permits from NEMA. Kaberuka tasked NEMA to explain how investors and other individuals acquire permits in wetlands yet the resource cover is on the decline.
Heifer International, a not-for-profit organisation that supports smallholder farmers shows that 69 percent of farmers in the area where the organisation operates, resorted to tree-cutting for various reasons.
Simon Okwi, the Parish Councilor for Kagwara says his voters were told to form an association in order to be considered by NFA, a development he notes enabled them to plant trees. He notes that the team was surprised when NFA came in to mark and split the forest into blocks without considering the locals.
Rose Nakyejwe, the Masaka District Environment Officer, says if the current rate of sand mining is not checked, shallow wells, boreholes and other water sources in the district are at risk of drying because of a drop of the water table where sand mining takes place.
According to Willy Magezi, the East Division LC III chairman, Musingunzi is destroying a wetland on top of endangering peoples lives by constructing a highly flamable fuel station close to their homes.
Dr. George Oming, the Kotido Natural Resources Officer, says over 200 bags of charcoal leave the district daily. A big bag of charcoal in Karamoja costs between Shillings 10,000 and 15,000, while a small bag costs between Shillings 5000-8000.
Ambrose Lotuke, the district chairperson Kotido says charcoal burning was embraced by communities especially in new settlements as a source of livelihood. He observes that much as several people have been apprehended by police, the existing laws are weak in punishing charcoal dealers.
Nelson Agaba, the Operations Manager, Leather Industries located on plot M74 Nyanza Road Fishermans Point Jinja, says although their factory is found in a wetland, they were authorised to operate from there.
Mwajjuma Nakazibwe, one of the affected residents says she has been occupying the land in question for over ten years. Nakazibwe asks government to reconsider the decision to evict them since she has nowhere to take her family.
Hajji Muyanja Mbabaali, reportedly fenced off the lake, adjacent to Lake Nabugabo in Bukakata Sub County, and banned fishing activities around it. He said the move was to prohibit unauthorized people from taking over his land.
In its report, the Committee notes that the companies were illegally mining sand in the wetland, which stretches between Mpigi and Kalungu districts in violation of their permits, leading to gross degradation of the environment around Lake Victoria.
The most affected wetlands are Kyogya, Nabajuzi, Nzizi, Katolerwa, Sserinya and Lukenke which have been taken over by farmers growing seasonal crops such as cabbages, tomatoes, onions, carrots, maize, beans, water melon and cocoyams.
Francis Muganzi, an officer attached to the Environmental Police Unit, says the unit has one pick up and only five officers who are unable to carry out surveillance on all protected areas in the five districts in the Tooro region. He explains that more than 80 cases of environmental violations have been reported to the unit, but nothing has been done to apprehend the suspects.
Plastic carrier bags are still in circulation despite a government ban on their importation and usage more than two months ago. A Uganda Radio Network reporter visited several places in and around Kampala where the kaveera was widely in use in supermarkets and retail shops.