Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni ordered all encroachers on national reserves and wildlife conservation areas to vacate to allow wildlife multiply. The President made the order in a speech read by the Third deputy minister for information and national guidance Mr. Kirunda Kivejinja, to guests and dignitaries at the official opening of the northern gateway of Wangkwar and Chobe into Murchison Falls National Park mid 2006. Museveni pointed that ‘Agricultural encroachers on Mt. Elgon must stop and the Basongora pastoralists must be relocated from Queen Elizabeth National Park. He further noted that Grazing in Semliki Wildlife Reserve and Kidepo National must be checked.

The encroachment began as a result of misinterpretation of the speech he made earlier this year, which the encroachers thought he had allowed them to carry on around the conservation areas. The President stressed that that no inhuman treatment of people should happen as a result of the evictions and that Uganda had been positioned as one of the leading global players in environmental conservation because of its friendly policies and legislation. Prime Minister and responsible ministers to ensure that encroachers are properly resettled were directed. He pointed that there is need to educate these people that these are important resources and proper assessment of the affected people must be done, boundaries properly defined and the people resettled. Seven of the country’s national parks and eight wildlife reserves are located in the Albertine Rift Valley, which is rich in oil and other minerals and biodiversity resources. These conservation areas are the home to varieties of wild life that includes birds, animals, and reptiles.

By Achen M Stella.

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