in Gulu district are demanding to be armed to protect themselves from wetland
Joyce Aryemo Latigo, the Gulu District Environment Officer,
says they receive deaths from highly placed people and their relatives as they
strive to investigate and halt wetland encroachment.
According to Latigo, they
are threatened with guns, which is a serious setback to environmental
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Jimmy Patrick Okema, the Aswa River Region Police
Spokesperson, says they have received any complaints from the environmental
officers. He also revealed that police have stopped issuing firearms to civilians.
Okema says the Environment Police Protection Unit – EPPU is
available to handle such cases.
Lyandro Komakech, the Gulu Municipal MP
also expressed reservation of the proposal of arming environmental officers,
saying such a solution is short-lived and may result into gun violence.
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Lyandro called for the strengthening of the National
Environment Act to harshly stampede offenders through issuance of restoration
orders and prosecution of such culprits in order to preserve wetlands.
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commercial and residents premises in Gulu have been
erected on wetlands. The encroachment is visible on Pece stream, swamps in
Layibi, Laroo and Bardege divisions respectively.
Uganda has several policies regulating land use such as the National
Environment Management Regulation 2000.
Despite this statistics from the
National Environment Management Authority- NEMA show that Wetlands are the most
threatened ecosystem, with its coverage drastically reducing from 16.6 hectares
in 1994 to 8.2 hectares in 2016.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.