President Museveni bans rice growing in wetlands

According to Ms. Nabbanja,  the government should help people who are using wetlands for rice growing to find alternative income means. [Image: @yowerikaguta/Twitter]
Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has ordered a ban on the growing of rice in wetlands across Uganda. This is according to a statement by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja.

Nabbanja revealed that in a February 8 letter to the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Frank Tumwebaze, and the Minister of Water and Environment, Mr. Sam Cheptoris.

“As you must have been aware, the President is concerned about the rate at which many wetlands across the country are drying up because of rice growing among other bad human activities,” Ms. Nabbanja wrote.

“This is not only affecting the ecosystems in our country but also presents a real danger to our very own future survival collectively,” she added.

According to Ms. Nabbanja,  the government should help people who are using wetlands for rice growing to find alternative income means.

“The views of H.E the President are that the use of our wetlands for fish farming, for instance, will fetch the country a lot more money while conserving the environment compared to rice growing. He also thinks that rice is a low-value crop that can be grown anywhere,” the letter reads further.

She asked the two ministers to urgently prepare a Cabinet paper by February 22, “to facilitate discussions and decisions of Government on this matter.”

In July 2021, the Minister of State for Environment, Ms. Beatrice Anywar, announced that the Cabinet had, with immediate effect, banned the growing of rice and other crops in wetlands across the country.

Though the implementation of the directive was hampered by politicians, who argued that many electorates depend on wetlands and that government needs to provide alternative sources of income for the affected people.

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