Police to Arrest Car Washers Operating in Hoima City Wetlands

Hoima District | The Black Examiner – For several months now, President Yoweri Museveni’s directive to Resident District/City Commissioners (RD/CCs) to clear encroachers from wetlands across the country for environmental restoration has been in effect.

Despite repeated warnings from RCCs, car washers persist in operating in Bigajuka, Wambabya, and Nyankwanzi rivers in Hoima city’s East and West Divisions.

This defiance has strained relations between car washers and presidential representatives. East Division Deputy RCC, Mr. William Kasigazi, continues to sound the warning as a reminder of the consequences. He aims to have those in his jurisdiction arrested, charged, and prosecuted for contravening environmental protection laws.

Nyankwanzi River at Kikwite cell is set to be the starting point for the operation against wetland encroachers, in line with the presidential directive to save wetlands.

Initial attempts to arraign culprits before magistrates failed due to the absence of environmental experts to guide the Resident State Attorney on technicalities. However, now with the deployment of environmental police in the region, offenders will face court.

Mr. Kasigazi notes that some government figures covertly endorse wetland encroachment, echoing Dr. Emmanuel Brian Guma’s report that political will to evict encroachers is lacking, despite the presidential directive.

While Dr. Guma calls for collaborative efforts against wetland destruction, the RCC urges all city stakeholders to join in. The goal is to restore water catchment areas, combating the ongoing climate change effects in Uganda.

Car washers, though urged to leave the rivers, express their predicament. They rely on this as a livelihood during times of high unemployment and limited capital for setting up washing bays.

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