KAMPALA – President Museveni has directed those seeking to encroach on wetlands and forest reserves to vacate immediately before they are forcefully evicted.
The president also warned Chinese investors against encroaching on wetlands saying the structures constructed in such places block water – leading to massive floods.
Museveni who spoke to journalists at the Jinja based State Lodge on Tuesday night said the government shall undertake studies to foster environmental conservation because of the increasing industrialization in the country.
He has tasked political leaders and enforcement teams mandated with ensuring good environmental practices to block investors from constructing more factories in wetlands.
Last month, Museveni also ordered the cancellation of land titles issued to Chinese companies in Lwera who were growing rice in wetlands.
Mr. Museveni then said wetlands are part of public land which should not be owned by individuals for their selfish interests.
” I don’t like swamp rice, it’s very dangerous to our environment,” he said telling Chinese investors to immediately cease the practice.
“Mr. Director General [Yi Yang] these people grow rice from our Nile tributaries. What they call swamps, are actually Nile tributaries,” he said emphasizing that “No more swamp rice.”
“Let us grow dryland rice or irrigation rice, I don’t mind pulling water from the tributaries, that’s okay, but swamps, that is very disastrous,” the President added.
The Chinese subsequently introduced another hybrid type of rice which they say can yield much on uplands.
Meanwhile, Museveni also challenged sugarcane farmers to start up small scale juice processing factories, which will end their dependency on sugar mills.
“Sugarcane has many byproducts. You team up and start processing juice. All of you shall have financial independence from mill owners who will continue lowering sugarcane prices because they are operating in raw material surplus,” he said.