Lwengo- Lwengo District environmental authorities and the Police Environmental Protection Unit, have destroyed dozens of acres of bananas, eucalyptus and maize plantations in Kaku Wetland in Kitooro Ward, Kyazanga Town Council, Lwengo District.

The evictions which are aimed at restoring the 30-Square Mile wetland, did not spare Col. Ryan Byamugisha’s eight acres of maize, bananas and eucalyptus.

Col Byamugisha is attached to Kasijagirwa Barracks in Masaka.

His pleas to Ms Harriet Nakamya, the Lwengo District Residential Commissioner, fell on deaf ears.

Mr Godfrey Mutemba, the Lwengo District Environmental Officer said the district council recently resolved to restore wetlands in the district.

“This is the only wetland which has clean and none salty water, but it is threatened by encroachers who planted eucalyptus trees and we all understand the effects of such tree species to wetlands,” Mr Mutemba said.

He said the district is committed to restoring wetlands and will not spare any encroacher, saying they bought saw machines to cut all the flourishing eucalyptus plantations.

Mr Mutemba said the operation is costly which would prompt them to auction the trees and use the proceedings to evict other encroachers.

Some encroachers cried as the o

Some encroachers cried as the operation progressed. Photo by Moses Muwulya

Mr Siraje Kazibwe, the Kitooro Ward councillor who is among the affected encroachers said they used to grow food crops in the wetland but when the Prisons Department planted eucalyptus trees on the land, residents followed suit.

He was, however, “happy” that the eucalyptus trees that were planted by the Prisons Department was not spared.