The money will help in restoration of degraded wetlands in different parts of the country. The eight-year project is supported with a US24.14 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, US2 million from UNDP and US18.12 million in co-financing from the Government of Uganda.
Newton Baluku, the acting Bundibugyo District Natural Resources Coordinator, says part of the funds will be used to plant more trees in areas where deforestation is rampant, train communities about the Collaborative Forest Management-CFM aimed at protecting central forest reserves in the district and facilitate department staff who will ensure that the environment laws are enforced.
On Tuesday, environment officers backed by police and inmates raided the affected wetlands and started destroying all the crops therein. The destruction of these crops angered the encroachers who started accusing police of trespass. They claimed they had not been given enough time to allow their crops mature.
Over 100 people have encroached on wetlands within the town. Some of the most affected wetlands are Pece Channel, Layibi wetland, Laroo Channel and other swamps in Bar dege division. Residential houses and business premises have been built while others are carrying on agricultural and quarry activities in the wetlands.
Wetland encroachers in Rakai district have up to end of day on Wednesday to vacate or be forcefully evicted. Last year, Rakai district environment authorities gave the encroachers, numbering over 15,000, up to end of January to leave the wetlands to give way for wetland reclamation campaign.