By Weswa Ronnie
Rice growers from Butaleja district are living in fears after the government announced plans to gazette all wetlands across the country for conservation.
Recently, the minister for environment Gorret Kitutu revealed that the government is planning to gazette all wetlands after discovering that people are abusing them by practicing bad activities like farming, brick making among others which are leading to their disappearance.
According to the minster forests and wetlands are currently disappearing slowly which may lead to climatic changes to the country in the future.
She said that the government is set to gazette all wetland in Uganda and restrict people from carrying out dangerous activities like farming, brick making among others.
According to Ezara Were a Farmer from Himutu Sub County, 70% of Butalaje is covered with wetland and hence used to carry out rice growing to generate income for them to be able to educate their children, get food among other benefits.
He adds that if they are restricted from using their land, this is going to bring poverty and hunger not only in Butaleja but Uganda at large because they supply their rice countrywide.
Stephen Wabwire from Butaleja town council also urged the government to give them alternative agricultural crops or other activities which can bring income to them before gazetting their wetland.