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Nakasongola Leaders Resolve To Relocate 1974 Families To Forest Reserve

Sam Kigula, the LC 5 Chairperson of Nakasongola district, says that they intend to relocate the 1974 households displaced by the rising water levels and those evicted from the land belonging to Nakasongola Army Barracks.
Gabriel Ngorok at his temporary house after he was displaced by rising waters . He is among the people whom the district want to relocate to forest reserve

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Nakasongola district officials have resolved to relocate 1974 families displaced by the rising water levels in Lake Kyoga to Kyalubanga Forest Reserve before it is degazetted by Parliament. The eight- square mile forest reserve stretches to four sub-counties including Nakitoma, Lwabiyata, Lwampanga and Nabiswera.

In his December 15th, 2019 letter, addressed to area Members of Parliament and Resident District Commissioner, President Yoweri Museveni directed that Kyalubanga Forest reserve in Nakasongola be degazetted to host the flood victims. He, however, directed that due process should be followed despite the fact that part of the forest land is bare.

But before parliament degazettes the forest reserve, local leaders in Nakasongola have resolved to relocate the affected families, saying they want them to utilize current rains to plant food crops to save them from dying of hunger.

Sam Kigula, the LC 5 Chairperson of Nakasongola district, says that they intend to relocate the 1974 households displaced by the rising water levels and those evicted from the land belonging to Nakasongola Army Barracks. He explains that the process of degazettement may take long yet the households are landless, adding that as leaders they can’t wait to see them die of hunger as they wait for bureaucratic processes.

Kigula says that they have requested tarpaulins from the Office of the Prime Minister, which they expect to receive soon to commence the relocation process. He also noted that by the time the President endorsed the directive, about 2600 households were already occupying part of the land.

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On Tuesday this week, Bernard Kirya Ssekyanzi, the Budyebo County Member of Parliament was expected to present a motion, urging the government to degazette the forest reserve be he decided to withdraw the motion from the order paper.

Ssekyanzi told URN on Friday that he was advised by government officials to stay the motion because it might prompt evictees from other forest reserves to apply for the same yet the case in Nakasongola exceptional. 

He says that it was resolved that the district moves on to relocate the affected persons and followed by the degazzetmment process later.   He says that they don’t have time because the flood victims have suffered for long, adding that they are also tired of feeding the affected people as leaders because of the costs involved.  

Beatrice Anywar, the State Minister for Environment couldn’t be reached for comment by the time of filing this story and couldn’t pick repeated calls to her mobile.  In 2020, while president at a function at Nakayonza Church of Uganda Primary School in Lwabiyata Sub-county in Nakasongola District, Museveni backed the degazettement because the Baruuli were persecuted by Colonialists in collision with Mengo leaving them landless.