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Environmentalists Accuse Rwandan Nationals of Encroaching on Echuya Forest Reserve

By APN Reporter

Rubanda

Residents neighboring Echuya Central Forest in Bufundi Sub County in
Rubanda District are accusing Rwandese nationals for encroaching on
the forest.

Echuya Central Forest is situated in Rubanda district and in Bufumbira
County in Kisoro District. It is situated on the high altitude range
running between Lake Bunyonyi, 5kms to the East, and Mgahinga Gorilla
National Park, 13 km to the south west.

Residents who include Willy Rwomushana, the Kashaasha parish LC2
Chairperson in Bufundi Sub County, and Pafra Tamusore claim that
Rwandese cross from their Country and encroach on Echuya Central
forest, carry the fertile soils to their country and graze their
animals in the same forest which has destructed part of it.

Residents say that patrolmen of the same Forest who are deployed by
National Forest Authority are suspected to be bribed by Rwandese to
allow them graze and steal the soils.

The National Forest Authority Supervisor In charge of Echuya Central
Forest, Herbert Turyahabwa, admits the challenge saying that Nature
Uganda that is also responsible for protecting the Environment and
district leadership have already intervened to find away of how to
settles the matter, he however says that there is also understaffing
in National Forest Authority where they can’t reach at every corners
of the forest.

The Rubanda District Chairperson Jogo Keneth Biryabarema says that his
office is aware of the concern raised by residents. He says that they
have ordered the Officer in Charge of Butanda Police post to arrest
whoever found in that vice he has never arrested any one.
He however said that they have proposed to have cross boarder meeting
with the counterparts at the border in order to get a solution to the
encroachment concern.

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