By Moses Kidandi
The National Environment management Authority has blamed political leaders in different communities for fueling the occupation of wetlands across the country.
NEMA adds that because of continued settlements in wetlands,the heavy rains have ravaged settlements and displaced thousands, leaving businesses paralyzed and crops destroyed because major water bodies, including lakes Victoria (in the central region), Albert (western) and Kyoga (eastern), and several rivers, have spilled their excess water into the surrounding areas, displacing thousands of people.
According to NEMA, the existing laws on wetland encroachment and agricultural practices near the water bodies are supposed to be 30 meters away ,a warning that most communities have ignored.
NEMA’s Executive Director Okurut now says according to their investigation ,some politicians have acquired plots in various communities affected by flooding and have mobilized others to occupy the wetlands ,a move that has put several peoples lives at risk.