PALLISA, UGANDA-- Efforts by the Ugandan government to restore 150,000 hectares of wetlands in catchment areas across the country by promoting livelihood projects for local people in the affected have kicked off in Palisa district, about 200 kilometres northeast of the capital, Kampala.

The launch of the programme dubbed, "Building Resilient Communities and Ecosystems through Restoration of Wetlands and Associated Catchments Project", is being implemented by the government through the Agriculture Ministry and the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA).

The project is aimed at addressing the increasing degradation of Uganda's wetlands, which has resulted in negative consequences such as floods, rising temperatures, loss of biodiversity, prolonged droughts and deteriorating water quality.

More than 244.2 million US dollars have been earmarked to provide alternative livelihood for the people who will be affected by the restoration of the degraded wetlands and other catchment areas across the country, says Environment Minister Sam Cheptoris.

He said here over the weekend that the Government had come up with livelihood projects such as tree planting, bee-keeping, and construction of irrigation schemes as well as fish ponds at the edges of wetlands.

The government is providing alternative means of livelihoods so that people quit the wetlands. People can earn better profits from fishing than from rice grown in wetlands," he added.

The Minister also disclosed that in a bid to mitigate the effects of drought, the government was going to establish irrigation schemes to supplement other water sources. The irrigation schemes would be for high-value crops and the project would be rolled out to other 20 districts -- 10 in the east and 10 in the southwest.



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