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Kalangala loses 2,000 acres of forests in 2 years



Deforestation. A man assembles firewood in Funve Central Reserve in Mazinga Sub-county, Kalangala District, on March 6. PHOTO BY SYLVESTER SSEMUGENYI 
Daniel Kaliisa, 45, is a charcoal burner and a resident of Mawaala Landing Site, Mazinga Sub-county in Kalangala District.

He switched to charcoal burning business three years ago after abandoning fishing.
“I resorted to charcoal burning in 2017 after losing all my fishing gear to soldiers deployed on the lake. They claimed my nets and boat were not of the recommended size, I was left with nothing yet I have a family to look after,” Kaliisa narrates
Well aware of the dangers paused by the indiscriminate tree cutting to burn charcoal, this is Kaliisa’s only source of livelihood.
“I know that cutting down trees is dangerous, but it is the only job I can do to survive here, I have no option,” he says.

A latest survey shows that the district has lost 2,080 acres of forest cover in the past two years. Kalangala’s acreage is 2.2 million.
According to the environmental survey conducted in December 2019 by Kalangala District NGO Forum (Kadingo), a community based organisation, indiscriminate felling of trees is mostly done in central forest reserves where 1,580 acres have been destroyed in the last couple of years.
Some of the most depleted central forest reserves, according to the survey, include Funve in Mazinga Sub-county, Bunyama, Buswa and Kisujju in Bujumba Sub-county.

Others are Buuga, Tonde, Kitemu , Bugana, Ssekazinga and Butulume.
Mr Emmanuel Ssekimpi, the chairperson of Kadingo, says private forests that have been cleared and the owners have resorted to burning charcoal, growing pineapple and rice as well as creating space for human settlement and dairy framing.

“It is worrying that Kalangala as a district is left with only six privately-owned natural forests, which are still intact. These forests sit on about 2,600 acres. The rest of the forests have since been cleared for oil palm growing,” he says.
According to the survey, majority of the depleted forests are in the villages of Mulabana, Bwendero, Bujumba and Dajje- Bweza, all located in Bujumba Sub-county. Those still intact are in the villages of Bugoma, and Bumangi in Mugoye Sub-county, and Kaazi -Malanga and Kitooke in Bujumba Sub-county.

The uncontrolled felling of trees targets old tree species and most of such activities are done at night, according to the survey.
The most felled tree species are Elgon Olive, Mvule, Musizi and Mahogany, which make high value furniture.
“Between 2015 and 2017, there was limited encroachment on both private and public forests in the district, but the situation worsened in 2018 when residents started engaging in a series of environmental degradation activities,” Mr Ssekimpi reveals.

The survey comes at a time when Kalangala District leaders are pushing through a proposal to have Parliament degazette Lutoboka Forest Reserve.
Mr Willy Lugoloobi, the district chairperson, says cutting down Lutoboka Forest Reserve is the only way they can expand and develop the town. The district boss argues that the town lacks land for expansion of the district prison, a mortuary and public cemetery.

Source: Daily Monitor

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Statement: The Energy Sector Strategy 2024–2028 Must Mark the End of the EBRD’s Support to Fossil Fuels



The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is due to publish a new Energy Sector Strategy before the end of 2023. A total of 130 civil society organizations from over 40 countries have released a statement calling on the EBRD to end finance for all fossil fuels, including gas.

From 2018 to 2021, the EBRD invested EUR 2.9 billion in the fossil energy sector, with the majority of this support going to gas. This makes it the third biggest funder of fossil fuels among all multilateral development banks, behind the World Bank Group and the Islamic Development Bank.

The EBRD has already excluded coal and upstream oil and gas fields from its financing. The draft Energy Sector Strategy further excludes oil transportation and oil-fired electricity generation. However, the draft strategy would continue to allow some investment in new fossil gas pipelines and other transportation infrastructure, as well as gas power generation and heating.

In the statement, the civil society organizations point out that any new support to gas risks locking in outdated energy infrastructure in places that need investments in clean energy the most. At the same time, they highlight, ending support to fossil gas is necessary, not only for climate security, but also for ensuring energy security, since continued investment in gas exposes countries of operation to high and volatile energy prices that can have a severe impact on their ability to reach development targets. Moreover, they underscore that supporting new gas transportation infrastructure is not a solution to the current energy crisis, given that new infrastructure would not come online for several years, well after the crisis has passed.

The signatories of the statement call on the EBRD to amend the Energy Sector Strategy to

  • fully exclude new investments in midstream and downstream gas projects;
  • avoid loopholes involving the use of unproven or uneconomic technologies, as well as aspirational but meaningless mitigation measures such as “CCS-readiness”; and
  • strengthen the requirements for financial intermediaries where the intended nature of the sub-transactions is not known to exclude fossil fuel finance across the entire value chain.


Download the statement:

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Complaint against unprofessional conduct of the DPC Kiryandongo district for aiding and abetting land grabbing in kiryandongo district.



The Commandant,

Professional Standards Unit, Uganda Police-Kampala.

Dear Sir/Madam;


We act for and behalf of the Lawful and bonafide occupants of Land described as LRV MAS 2 FOLIO 8 BLOCK 8 PLOT 22 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS RANCH 22).

Our Clients are residents of Nyamutende Village, Kitwara Parish in Kiryandongo District where they have lived for more than 30 years and sometime in 2017, they applied for a lease of the said Land to Kiryandongo District Land Board through the Directorate of Land Matters State House.

As they were still awaiting their Application to be processed, they were shocked to establish that the said land had been instead leased to and registered in the names of Isingoma Julius, Mwesige Simon, John Musokota William, Tumusiime Gerald, Wabwire Messener Gabriel, Ocema Richard and Wilson Shikhama, some of whom were not known to the Complainants. A copy of the Search is attached hereto

Our clients protested the above action and appealed to relevant offices, but were shocked to discover that the above persons had gone ahead and sold the same to a one Maseruka Robert.

Aggrieved by these actions, the Complainants appealed to the RDC who advised them to institute proceedings against the said persons, and assigned them a one Mbabazi Samuel to assist them to that effect. The said Mbabazi accordingly filed Civil Suit Noa 46 of 2019 against tne said registered proprietors at Masindi High Court challenging the illegal and fraudulent registration, sale and transfer of the subject land to Maseruka Robert.

While awaiting the progress of the case mentioned hereinabove, the Complainants were surprised to find that the said Mbabazi, instead of assisting them, he went into a consent settling the said suit on their behalf without their knowledge or consent. A copy of the Consent is attached hereto.

Among the terms of the said consent Judgment was that the residents would be compensated without specifying how much and would in return vacate the Land.

As if that was not enough, Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel are going ahead to execute the said Consent Judgment by forcefully evicting the occupants without compensation which has prompted the complainants to challenge the said Consent by applying for its review and setting aside at Masindi High Court which is coming up for hearing on the 29th March 2023. A copy of the Application is attached hereto.

Sensing the imminent threat of eviction, we also filed an application for interim stay of execution of the said consent to avoid rendering their application for review nugatory but unfortunately the same could not be heard on the date it was fixed for hearing (6th February 2023). A copy of the Application is attached hereto

On Thursday last week, three tractors being operated by 6 workers of a one Mbabazi Samuel [the very person who had been entrusted to represent our Clients to secure their Land through Civil Suit No.46 of 2019] encroached close to 50 acres of our Clients’ land and started ploughing it but our Client’s protested and chased them away.

We have however been shocked to receive information from our Clients that on Sunday at Mid night, 3 police patrols invaded the community in the night and arrested community members; Mulenje Jack, Steven Kagyenji, Mulekwa David, Ntambala Geoffrey, Tumukunde Isaac 15 years, Kanunu Innocent, Mukombozi Frank, Kuzara, Rwamunyankole Enock, and took them to Kiryandongo Police Station where they are currently detained.

We strongly protest the illegal arrests and detention of our Clients as this is a carefully orchestrated land grabbing scheme by Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel who are  receiving support from the DPC Kiryandongo.

The purpose of this Letter therefore is to request your good office to investigate the misconduct, abuse of office and unprofessionalism of the said DPC Kiryandongo District and all his involvement in the land grabbing schemes on land formerly known as Ranch 22.

Looking forward to your urgent intervention,

C.C The Head Police Land Protection Unit Police Head Quarters Naguru

CC The RDC Kiryandongo District

CC The Chairman LCVKityadongo District

CC The Regional Police CommanderAlbertine Region

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The Executive Director of Witness Radio Uganda talks about the role played by Witness Radio in protecting communities affected by large-scale agribusinesses in Kiryandongo district in an interview with the ILC.



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