The State Minister for Environment, Beatrice Anywar, has revealed that government plans to use force to evict illegal wetland encroachers starting with those around Lake Victoria if they don’t leave with immediate effect.
Anywar said the decision to enforce the already existing laws regulating the construction of structures around water bodies comes as the water levels of Lake Victoria and other connected water bodies continue to rise, thus posing a risk to the lives of thousands of people.
Speaking to the media about the fate of those living around lake shores and other water bodies, Anywar advised them to leave as soon as possible before serious action is taken to forcefully kick them out.
“The reality is that the level of water is going to continue rising, the solution is to leave the area as quickly as you can. Please evacuate,”she requested.
She said if the occupants refuse to leave, the ministry will use force to evict them especially those people who illegally occupied the settlements.
She blamed some government officials for contributing to environmental degradation.
“Instead of evacuating and letting nature settle without doing further damage, they are again blocking the eviction,”she said.
Many people living and working around the shores of Lake Victoria have faced many hardships due to the rise of the water levels.
Anywar said in order to save the lives of these people, the government has created a special interministerial committee to handle the situation which will be chaired by her ministry.
According to the environmentalists, the rise of water levels and all the associated problems is a sign that we have done a bad job in protecting the environment.