By The Insight Post.
Residents at Mpunge Sub County in Mukono District have asked the National Environment Management Authority-NEMA demolish the concrete perimeter wall constructed in the buffer zones along Lake Victoria.
The perimeter wall which covers a width of 800 meters was constructed by the family of the late Edward Mugalu under the guise of securing and protecting their land from encroachment.
Bob Katewo, the Sub County Speaker says the developments have interfered with the aquatic life of the lake and destroyed a section of the lake which is known as breeding areas.
“We have written to various concerned district authorities to intervene but our efforts have not yielded anything.” Katewo says.
Joseph Kirangwa, a fisherman at Mpunge says that a section of the landing site is also enclosed leaving them without space for docking their boats.
“We have fishing jurisdictions and crossing to another landing site requires payment of more than Shillings 500, 000 annually yet we have already paid the same amount to the sub county authorities.” Kirangwa says.
Mpunge is among the areas struggling to access clean water. Victoria Nakafunga, a resident at Mpunge says the lake, specifically the enclosed part is their source of water.
She notes that erection of the perimeter wall has already created an extra distance of about two kilometers for residents to access water.
The current family caretakers including George and Judith Mugalu are unreached on the shared contacts from residents.
Information obtained from locals indicate that some family members say the perimeter wall is constructed following the surveyor’s reports in regards to the size of land as indicated on their land title.
What Authorities Say
The District Natural Resources Officer William Mujuni together with the Senior Environment Officer, Joseph Mutalya are yet to intervene into the matter.
Information obtained from their close associates indicate that they gave up on various cases such as destruction the lake and wetlands saying majority of the developers acquired land genuinely, unless the Ministry of Lands make reviews of these titles and leases, they will approach them. Besides their construction plans are being approved by authorities.
The National Environment Management Act limits construction of permanent structures in a 200-metre buffer zone of the lake, river and wetlands. It also empowers the government to clear such structures whenever identified.
The Spokesperson of the Lands Ministry, Dennis Obbo appeals to district leaders to formally petition the commissioner for land registration over the matter since the law forbids issuance of titles in protected areas.