Officials from National Forestry Authority (NFA) have said that over 150,000 people in Rakai district who illegally encroached on forest land will be evicted.
The people to be evicted occupy six sub- counties including Kagamba, Kyalurangira, Dwanilo, Buyamba, Kacheera ne Kiziba sub-counties
NFA officials revealed that the locals settled on three forest reserves including Lake Kijanebalaro, Kyamazzi and Kyalwamuka central forest reserve which they have been degrading at a high speed.
From a distance, what used to be hills covered by shrub and trees now comprise banana plantations and permanent settlements for the locals who claim to have settled there many decades ago.
Speaking to some of the residents in these villages, they told us that no one will force them to vacate their ancestral land because they have nowhere to.
Steven Galima, the coordinator natural forests management who represented the executive director of NFA in this meeting, advised leaders to guide their subjects on laws about settling on forestry land.
“If we cleared those on Mt. Elgon and in Mabira forest, what will stop us in Rakai?” Galima warned.
Previously President Museveni has issued directives to restore all forests that were destroyed but unfortunately most of the forest reserves have been destroyed.
Reports shows that over 50 tree species are extinct as a result of deforestation.