KAMPALA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Uganda's National Environment Authority (NEMA) said Sunday that all wetlands have been gazetted to conserve the environment and reduce the effects of climate change in the East African country.
Executive Director of NEMA Barirega Akankwasah said in a statement that 8,613 areas have been gazetted as wetlands under the National Environment (Declaration of Wetlands) notice 2023.
"We appeal to all those in wetlands to leave peacefully to avoid forceful evictions that will follow," said Akankwasah.
Section 36 of Uganda's National Environment Act provides for the protection of wetlands and prohibits any person from reclaiming, erecting, or demolishing any structure that is fixed in, on, under, or above any wetland.
Uganda's wetland coverage has reduced to 8 percent from 13 percent of the country's land surface, according to the Ministry of Water and Environment data.
Conservation experts argue that because of the depletion of wetlands, parts of the country receive long dry spells leading to the destruction of crops, and when the rain season starts, it is erratic leading to loss of lives and property. ■