Mackline Namiyingo, the Kakumiro District Environment Officer-DEO, says that the lockdown equally affected the supervision of wetlands, swamps and forest reserves, which saw hundreds of people invading the protected areas.
the country continues battling the COVID-19 outbreak, the environment has equally
been hit hard by the pandemic. In Bunyoro sub-region, most of the people who
lost their jobs resulting from the closure of certain companies and offices
turned to Mother Nature for survival.
Most of these people have invaded forest
reserves, swamps and wetlands to engage in charcoal burning, timber cutting,
rice farming, hunting in protected areas and bricklaying among others to earn
This has inevitably led to the destruction of the environment in
Hoima, Kagadi, Masindi and Kakumiro districts among others. Mackline Namiyingo, the Kakumiro District
Environment Officer-DEO, says that the lockdown equally affected the
supervision of wetlands, swamps and forest reserves, which saw hundreds of people
invading the protected areas.
She cites Mabengere, Mpongo and Kabale in
Katikara and Kisiita Sub counties as some of the major wetlands that have suffered
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James Mugenyi Mulindambura, the Hoima District
Production and Natural Resources Secretary says that it became hard for them
to sensitize the public on the dangers of degrading forest reserves, wetlands
and swamp during the lockdown because of the travel restrictions.
listed some of the affected wetlands in Hoima as Kiribanywa, Bigajuka, Waaki
and Wambabya in Kitoba, Kigorobya and Buseruka sub-counties respectively among
He says they are currently sensitizing the
public to vacate the wetlands to ensure their restoration and protection. Moses
Semahunge, the Project Manager Bulindi Chimpanzee and Community Project in
Hoima district, says that the outbreak of COVID-19 also left a huge vacuum
especially through the loss of donor funding.
explains that the travel restrictions frustrated efforts by environmental
activists to traverse the country to carry out sensitization campaigns.
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Joseph Serugo, the Head of Kirawa Chimpanzee
Conservation Association in Kasambya sub-county in Kakumiro district, says that
encroachers on forests, which host chimpanzees, are frustrating their efforts
to promote eco-tourism. He says that forest destruction has led to the loss of
fruit trees that primates depend on for food hence creating a bad relationship
between people and the apes.
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Amon Kitooke, the Deputy Director Cross-Cultural
Foundation of Uganda-CCFU, says that encroaching on forests for tree logging
also pushed the animals from their habitat.