PM Rugunda Warns Encroachers on Forest Cover, Wetlands

he high level sector review meeting brought together government technocrats, cost development partners and heads of government agencies in the water sector

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has sounded a warning against the rampant environmental degradation which he said poses a major challenge amid a global climate change threat.

He criticized people who encroach on natural resources like forests, pharm wetlands in addition to those who damage vegetation along river banks.

The remarks were made on Tuesday during a high level sector review meeting involving stakeholders in the water and environment sector which was convened at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

The engagement was aimed at reflecting on the achievements and challenges in the sector.

“Uganda’s economy is dependent on its stock environment and natural resources. Climate change is already affecting most of the major drivers of the economy including water availability, ” said the Prime Minister.

Continuous depletion of the forests which is largely attributed to the charcoal trade as a source of energy has reduced Uganda’s forest cover to 10 percent.

“The rampant degradation of these resources by encroaching must stop and where ecology demands it; the encroachers be made to vacate these eco systems. We must increase forest cover in the country through planting more trees in the central forest reserves as well as on private basis.”


In the same nerve, Rugunda cautioned district and urban local governments against degazetting urban forests saying it hasn’t been approved yet.

Tuesday’s discussion also centered on ways through which government can increase access to clean and safe water to the populace mostly those in rural areas.

The sector among other challenges also grapples with underfunding with only 3 percent of budgetary allocation.

Currently, 67 percent of the population has access to clean and safe water in the rural areas while in urban areas, it stands at 71 percent.

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