NEMA evictions cause uproar in Nansana

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NEMA evictions cause uproar in Nansana
Capt Williams Ssempebwa insists on the evictions

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) continues its demolition of houses and other illegal structures constructed on the Lubigi wetland in Nansana, Wakiso District.

The ongoing operation has left residents distraught and furious, accusing NEMA of failing to give them adequate notice and time to vacate the area.

The scene was filled with cries, anger, and self-deprecation as bulldozers and other heavy machinery tore through the structures that had been home to many families.

The wetland, designated as a protected area, has been the center of a bitter conflict between residents and environmental authorities.

One of the most striking figures in the crowd was retired soldier, only identified as Captain Ssempebwa, who arrived dressed in full military uniform.

Visibly upset, Captain Williams Ssempebwa questioned the demolition crew, demanding to know why he was not informed of the impending destruction of his home.

"I have been away attending to other things in Kiboga, and now I find myself homeless without a warning," says Capt Ssempebwa.

Another dramatic confrontation occurred when the demolition team arrived at the residence of John  Wasswa, who told the team he was a lawyer and knew the law.

He refused to leave his house and challenged them, stating that they had no right to demolish his property without prior notification.

"If you think you have power, then put this house down because you did not inform me," he said as he defiantly entered his house but soldiers pulled him out just before putting the entire structure on ground with his property inside.

Residents many of whom were in tears, complained that NEMA had acted without giving them any opportunity to prepare.

They expressed their frustration and sorrow, explaining that most had invested heavily in their homes, often borrowing money to purchase the land and construct their houses.

In response, NEMA maintained that the evictions were justified, stating that all settlers had been illegally occupying the wetland and had received prior warnings to evacuate.

"This is not a surprise eviction. We have repeatedly warned the settlers that they are on protected land," said NEMA execcutive director Barirege Akankwasah.

As the operation continues affected residents still have hope of compensation or any arrangement for relocation.

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