NFA orders 1,000 locals to vacate forest reserve

Kibaale- The National Forestry Authority (NFA) has directed more than 1,000 people to vacate Kijuna Forest Reserve in Kibaale District by Thursday.

Mr Charles Ariani, the NFA Kagadi sector manager, said the encroachers have in the past ignored directives to vacate but that NFA has reached an agreement with them through the area LC3 chairperson, Mr John Bizimungu, to ensure that they leave.

The agreement was reached during a dialogue held at Kicunda Trading Centre last week.

“Due to some political interference, the encroachers remained in the forest, cultivating and some have houses,” Mr Ariani said last week.
“Whether you have 20 children or you came from Rwanda or Kabale many years ago and you don’t know where you came from, you must move out of this forest,” he added.

Mr Ariani said the encroachers have in the past stoned and attempted to rough up NFA staff as they protested eviction.

Kagadi sector has 16 gazetted forests which have been encroached on by indigenous Banyoro and other immigrants. As NFA, we want to restore these forests, NFA is capable of replanting the trees, the seedlings are at Namanve,” said Mr Fredrick Atugonza, the NFA forest supervisor of Kyombe beat.

Mr Atugonza said because of encroachment, rainy seasons in Kibaale District have been disrupted and some tree species have become extinct.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor


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