NFA worries about people forging land titles of forest land

By Robert Segawa

The National Forestry Authority has appealed to the government of Uganda to pay off Mabira occupants and make it a one title block.

Mabira forest is 29974 Hectares and the occupants in the Enclaves are occupying over 4000 Hectares and the population keeps on growing which is exerting pressure on the native Mabira Forest.

The appeal was made by Tom Okello Obongo the Executive Director NFA during the launch of community Livelihood which is run by NFA with support from nature and Livelihoods program targeting communities around Mabira central forest reserve.

Okello added that Mabira is one of the protected areas in the country with indignant communities living in forest reserves since they were allowed by the colonial government at that time of gazetting settlements, so the population is growing, living nearer to the forest and this is one of the challenges the management is facing.

He therefore called upon the government to negotiate with the people to re allocate them elsewhere to reduce the pressure they put on the forest.

Okello further said that Mabira forest reserve is a prime area for Eco tourism like Budongo forest, Karinzo and Maramagambo reserve forests which are a good source of revenue.

He further stated that NFA can get the money to run the institution by developing Eco tourism activities in forest reserves and see how the authority gets revenue from non extractive business not extracting the forest by promoting tourism where people can visit the forest for weekend camping and take pictures in a good environment area with their loved ones and take advantage of being very close to Kampala and Jinja.

Mr Okello added that they have advertised for Eco tourism opportunities in forest reserves and have given offers to interested Ugandans to see how to promote tourism in a country central reserve forest.

He also sited the challenges of forged land titles and sell land to unsuspecting persons which brings conflicts and put injunctions in courts of law. So far,they have spotted over 100 tittles for cancellation.

Okello Obongo strongly warns corrupt officials of National forest authority that he wants zero tolerance for illegal activities by telling them that they have only 40 days to leave the authority.

During the launch tour of Mabira and meeting the beneficiary at Najjembe, William Olupot, Director Nature and Livelihoods says NFA have injected over 50 million shillings in projects aimed at getting revenue to the community.

The team toured some of the projects that included bee hive keeping, piggery project and chicken keeping around Mabira that were started by Nature and Livelihood in a bid to boost finances in the people living within Mabira forest.

Olupot adds that the projects are aimed at helping over 15 groups with over 250 community members who are also helping to change their attitudes to destroying the Forest and report those cutting trees illegally.

Uganda needs to plant 136 hectare of forests before 2040

By Moses Kidandi
National Forestry Authority in partnership with Rotare club have announced a campaign to restore Eight Hectare’s of Namatale central Forest Reserve in Mbale by planting seveteen thousand trees of both types both fruit and non fruit.
The latest  biomass study by NFA indicates a loss of 3 million hectares of forest cover across the country.
According to NFA, Uganda needs to plant a total of 136 Hectare’s of trees if the situation is to be reversed by 2040.
Paul Buyeyera the Director Policy Planning at NFA  warns of massive deforestation which us resulting into an environmental crisis. Namatale central forest reserve is a Natural Forest totaling 663 Hectares and contiguous with Mt.Elgon National park which greatly forms part of the Mt Elgon Echo system.
Speaking after the signing of the memorandum between NFA and Rotary Uganda,Paul Buyers says Namatale forest reserve is a catchment of 9 small rivers from mount Elgon which join into River Namatale at the begging of the reserve which are s main source of water to the local people of Bufumbo subcounty in Mbale district,Buteza and Buyobo sub county in Sironko district.

The Namatale central Fores reserve protects several hills against soil erosion which hills form part of my Elgon ranges.
The rivers within the forest reserve flow to the low and flat land of Kumi and Pallisa Districts as it joins Mpologoma River and in the process supplies water to local people in the region.
30 million shillings is to be jointly spent on the exercise.

NFA demands for special environment courts

By Robert Segawa

National Forests Authority wants government to put in place a special court to handle cases related to environmental cases.  This was disclosed by Paul Buyerah Musamali the acting executive director NFA while addressing the media at the head offices in Bugolobi.

Musamali says court injunctions are one of the reasons which have hindered NFA cases against forest encroachers and illegal lumbering suspects in court.

He adds that some court cases take long to be disposed of which he said government losses millions of money and gives chance to others to continue destroying forests.
Musamali explained that NFA has organized August 6th as the day when it will roll out national wide campaign for tree planting to help replacing those lost to illegal lumbering. NFA says in conjunction with Uganda National Roads Authority it will distribute free tree seedlings to people to plant trees along all major roads in Uganda.

Man accuses city tycoon Ntaganda of stealing forest

By Sania Babirye

City tycoon Ephraim Ntanganda has been accused by a 79 year old man of stealing his  forest  amounting to five hectares found in Wakiso district.

Dezidelio Kasujja revealed this while appearing before the land  commission of inquiry being chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemeire.

He has told  the commission that Ntanganda connived with the NFA Executive director to clear his forest containing 150 bee hives and 12 acres of  Eucalyptus trees in march 2016.

Kasujja has further told the commission that  on that fateful day Ntaganda who was escorted by police men dressed in uniform brought in tractors to clear the forest found in Kajjansi in his presence.

After the incident Ntanganda  is alleged to have sold off the trees and the bee hives and bared him from trespassing on the former forest.

Kasujja has now asked the land prob to visit the locus for  more clarity.

In March 1997 Kasujja is said to have acquired the virgin forest for  re development from the National Forestry Authority .

Ntanganda is expected to take a stand this afternoon to defend himself on the said allegations.

Stop issuance of Certificates of land titles- NFA

By Joan Navubya

The National Forestry Authority (NFA) has written to the Commissioner Land Registration at Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development to stop issuance of Certificates of land titles in Central Forest Reserves.

This follows the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom’s acquisition of a Land Title in Bugoma Central Forest Reserve curving out over 8,000 hectares of land in Buhaguzi County Kyangwali Hoima District.

The kingdom is already carrying out the boundary marking exercise for the land, already leased to Hoima Sugar Factory Company Ltd to grow sugarcanes.

NFA warns that failure to adhere to the request; it will be forced to apply legal means.