Saturday, 16 February 2013

High Forest Depletion Irks Environment Minister

High Forest Depletion Irks Environment Minister
By Hope Mafaranga
In Fort Portal
The Minister of State for environment, Flavia Nabugere has decried the high levels of forest depletion in Kyejonjo and Kyegegwa districts.
The two districts are surrounded by central forest reserves and wetlands which have all been encroached on by members of the community. The forest reserves include Itwara, Matiri, Muzizi, Kibengo and Ibambara and the Kyerenga wetland.
Touring Matiri Central Reserve, Nabugere tasked Luke Onzima, the Kyenjojo district forest officer to explain what his office is doing to curb the destruction of the forests.
He said that forest office should work closely with the police to enforce environmental laws
However Onzima told the Minister that they are failing to protect the forests from depletion, because of lack of funds for the natural resources department. He says that department is allocated inadequate funds which are meant to monitor enforcement of the environmental laws.
 Nabugere was in Kyenjojo district to launch the Kyerenga wetland Management Plans aimed at conserving the wetland which is shared by Kyenjojo and Kyegegwa districts.
The management plans were supported by two NGOs, Joint Effort to Save the Environment (JESE) and CARE Uganda. They are aimed at protecting the wetland which has been encroached on by communities and is nearly facing extinction.
Nabugere urged the local leaders, technical persons and the local communities to ensure the plans are implemented and not just on paper. She thanked JESE and CARE U for designing the plans efforts they have set up to conserve the environment.

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