HomeENVIRONMENTIbanda District Launches Demarcation of Rwambu wetland System

Ibanda District Launches Demarcation of Rwambu wetland System

By Lawrence Mucunguzi

IBANDA

 The government of Uganda has embarked on boundary demarcation of the Rwambu wetland system in the Ibanda district in a move to conserve the marshlands, which are disappearing due to encroachment. The wetland is located in Kijongo Sub County and is the boundary of the Ibanda and Kitagwenda districts.

The exercise that was launched recently by the team led by Ibanda District Resident Commissioner Drake Mukiibi, involves retracing wetland boundaries and placing mark stones as well as sensitizing the residents and local leaders surrounding the wetlands on the need to urgently restore the wetlands.

Ongol Joseph, the acting commissioner for wetland management under the water and environment ministry said the demarcation of wetland boundaries was part of interventions by the government to secure wetlands in the country and restore their integrity. 

Ongol added that the management of natural resources is the responsibility of local governments, saying the ministry comes in to provide technical support.

The project

The exercise will be supported by a five-year project. The five-year project with $4.3 million of funding, is being executed by Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment, with support from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The same project is intended to improve the livelihoods of communities living within the Rwizi-Lake Mburo-Nakivale, and Enyau wetland systems, as well as the River Sironko Arua system in Arua district.

Wamanya Zanikire the Principal assistant Secretary Ibanda District endorsing wetland demarcation in the district

With funding support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the objective of the project is to increase the capacity of government and local communities in Uganda to implement ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in wetland and forest ecosystems to reduce vulnerability to climate change.

Afai Sylvano, the western regional wetlands coordinator and project manager, said the exercise is not about grabbing anybody’s land but showing the communities where unauthorized human activities must stop.

Wetlands in a dire situation 

Records from the Ibanda District environment department indicate that 55 percent of wetlands in the district have been degraded through human activities such as farming, house construction, and sand mining.  

According to Elly Kirya, the Ibanda District Natural Resources Officer a large chunk of the wetlands in Ibanda have been converted into an agricultural area and encroachers have been given an ultimatum to harvest their crops, cut down all eucalyptus trees and vacate.

Rwambu wetlamd System in Kijongo sub county will be demacated.

Other wetland systems in the district that have been greatly affected by human activities in the district are Kabobo, Rwambu, Kirimirire, Mpasha, Bigyera, Mpanga, and Kitoomi wetlands.

Most of these wetlands have been either degraded as a result of eucalyptus growing, sand and gold mining, charcoal burning, and farm grazing among others according to Confidence Akankwasa the Senior Environment Officer at Ibanda district.

Elias Tumubweine the Ibanda district Vice Chairperson said the district political leadership is pledging support to the boundary demarcation exercise.

“We have already started experiencing adverse weather changes and it will be a disservice to the community if we just look on as people destroy the environment,” he said.

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