Government is set to degazette Kyarubanga Forest Reserve in Nakasongola District to settle more than 1,800 households.
The eight- square mile forest reserve stretches to four sub-counties including Nakitoma, Rwabyata, Lwampanga and Nabiswera.
This follows a presidential directive to line ministries of Water and Environment, and Lands, Housing and Urban Development to initiate the degazettment process to allow families that have settled on the land for many years to take full possession and engage in income generating activities.
In a December 15, 2019 letter copied to the Nakasongola Members of Parliament and Resident District Commissioner, President Museveni indicated that the right procedure to have the forest reserve land degazetted should be followed.
The Nakasongola forestry officer, Mr Geoffrey Mugenyi, yesterday confirmed to Sunday Monitor that his office is already aware about the presidential directive.
“We are already aware of the degazettment programme but I do not have the details,” Mr Mugenyi said.
The directive follows a petition by the district leaders led by MPs Noah Mutebi (Nakasongola County), Wilson Muruli Mukasa (Budyebo County) and Margaret Komuhangi (Nakasongola District Woman MP) to the President to avert a pending eviction of families who have occupied the land for more than 40 years.
The National Forestry Authority (NFA) wants to pave way for private developers interested in utilising the land to plant eucalyptus and pine trees.
“We petitioned the President to intervene because although this land belongs to NFA legally as a forestry reserve, it has been occupied for many years where an eviction could lead to a big landless class of citizens in Nakasongola,” Mr Mutebi said in an interview on Thursday .
Budyebo County MP and Minister for Public Service, Wilson Muruli Mukasa, confirmed the change of status of the forest reserve land under a presidential directive by way of degazetting it to allow the many landless families who have lived on the land for many years to officially derive a livelihood on this particular land.
“Nakasongola is among the unlucky districts in Uganda with more than 80 per cent of the population occupying land as squatters. Degazetting the forest reserve land will be a historic milestone for the people of Buruuli (Nakasongola). These families were at the verge of eviction by the department of forestry since the land had been gazetted by government as forestry reserve land,” Mr Muruli Mukasa told the Sunday Monitor in an interview.
He said leaders from Nakasongola are organising an inter-denominational prayer on March 14 at Nakayonza Church of Uganda, Rwabyata Sub-county, to thank God for this landmark achievement.
President Museveni is expected to grace the function.
Mr Sam Kigula, the district chairperson, is optimistic that once the degazettment process is done, the occupants on the land will be able to engage in meaningful development projects.
“These people have had no security on this particular land since they have been encroachers. It is also true that this entire land is now occupied by the public, schools, churches and health units. There is no idle land for tree planting . We thank the President for taking the initiative to have this land degazetted,” Mr Kigula said.
However, the Ministry of Environment officials said the degazettment will be done after securing parliamentary approval.
Other reserves. Nakasongola has several areas that were set aside by government as forest reserve land including Kasagala Central Forest Reserve in Kakooge Sub-County which measures about 2,000 hectares.
The loss of the original indigenous forest trees and the indiscriminate clearing of more than 80 per cent of the forest cover in Nakasongola in the last 20 years partly explains the persistent dry spell in the area.
Last year, the district authorities rolled out a compulsory tree planting programme dubbed ‘Nakasongola go green’ to counter the looming desertification in the area. NFA supported the campaign by supplying 200,000 indigenous tree seedlings worth Shs60m.
Source: Daily Monitor
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: https://www.iisd.org/system/files/2023-09/ngo-statement-on-energy-sector-strategy-2024-2028.pdf
Complaint against unprofessional conduct of the DPC Kiryandongo district for aiding and abetting land grabbing in kiryandongo district.
Professional Standards Unit, Uganda Police-Kampala.
RE: COMPLAINT AGAINST UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF THE DPC KIRYANDONGO DISTRICT FOR AIDING AND ABETTING LAND GRABBING IN NYAMUTENDE KITWARA PARISH KIRYANDONGO DISTRICT AND CARRYING OUT ILLEGAL ARRESTS AND DETENTION OF INNOCENT RESIDENTS/ BIBANJA OWNERS FOR PROTESTING AGAINST THE ILLEGAL EVICTION FROM THEIR LAND.
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
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.
MEDIA FOR CHANGE NETWORK2 weeks ago
Pushing back: The EACOP victim community rushes to court seeking reinstatement onto their land and compensation.
DEFENDING LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS4 days ago
Statement: The Energy Sector Strategy 2024–2028 Must Mark the End of the EBRD’s Support to Fossil Fuels