Kole DRDC Trevor Baleke

The authorities of Kole district in northern Uganda have given an ultimatum of 90 days to the people who have encroached wetlands to voluntarily vacate or face the long arm of the law.

In a monthly District Security Committee (DSC) meeting chaired by the Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Trevor Solomon Baleke on Monday 23rd May, 2022, the authorities indicated that they had found that despite several interventions encroachment on the wetlands was still rampant in Kole.

“We have as DSC resolved that whoever is cultivating or has constructed in a wetland must vacate before 1st September, 2022. After that ultimatum we shall use forceful means to ensure that the environment is protected,” Baleke told this reporter after the meeting..

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“Our people are therefore, ordered to comply with these orders; stop illegal activities with immediate effect, remove all structures, including fences and houses, in the wetland and restore them to its original state,” he added.

The authorities resolved to pass the said ultimatum through the local media and also write letters to all local council I, local council II and local council III leaders instructing them to inform their residents about the order.

“Failure to comply with the directive shall result in this authority or any other person authorised, taking all the necessary action against the errant encroachers including criminal prosecution to ensure that the directives are complied with.”

Mr Baleke in the company of DPC, Moses Kakiryo, Tony Okullu the DISO and other authorities plus local leaders spent part of last week holding awareness meetings in which they engaged residents, local leaders and wetland encroachers in several parts of the district. This follows a series of awareness meetings over the years involving the encroachers, local leaders, police and Members of Parliament.