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Three Arrested for Encroaching on Buhweju Wetlands

Buhweju District Police Commander Ben Nuwamanya says that the three had encroached on a bigger part of the wetland and turned it into a grazing and farming area. The suspects are now held at Buhweju Police Station.

Audio 2

Police in the Buhweju district have arrested three people for allegedly encroaching on Kirungu wetland.

They include Simon Baguma (42), the chairperson of Kyesika cell, Jumaine Kilibenda (57), a resident and Vereriano Bagumire (66) from Akarukoma cell Rwengwe Sub County.

Buhweju District Police Commander Ben Nuwamanya says that the three had encroached on a bigger part of the wetland and turned it into a grazing and farming area. The suspects are now held at Buhweju Police Station.

He says that the police and the district environment department will continue to sensitize the locals on the need to protect and restore wetlands.

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Buhweju District Environmental Officer Celemesia Birungi says the encroachers had ignored warnings against encroaching on the wetland. She says that the operation to get rid of encroachers continues.

Simon Baguma, one of those arrested says they had no ill intentions but were trying to ensure that they take care of their animals during the time when other areas had dried up after a long dry spell.

Other wetlands that have been encroached on by yet to be known people in Buhweju district include Kyejongyera, Kanyabukanja and Kirungu which are the main source of water that drains into river Rwizi, a lifeline for millions of people in western Uganda.

Currently the water levels at river Rwizi have gone down prompting National Water and Sewerage Corporation to seek alternative water sources in order to sustain supply to its clients.

National water and Sewerage Corporation is required to pump a total of 13 million liters of water for the Mbarara area. However, it only pumps 9 million liters causing a shortage in supply.

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