Tayebwa Wants Parliament to Investigate Ongoing Destruction of Mabira Forest

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa wants the Natural Resources Committee of parliament to investigate the pollution and the ongoing massive tree cutting in Mabira Central Forest Reserve in Buikwe District.

This stems from petitions from residents and area legislators about the massive tree cutting in Mabira Forest and other reserves by individuals who are being shielded by high-placed ‘political Godfathers’ in the Government.

Diana Mutasingwa, the Buikwe District Woman member of parliament, who also doubles as a State Minister in the office of the Vice President told Tayebwa that the problem facing Mabira needs the urgent attention of Parliament. She accused the National Forestry Authority- NFA of sleeping on the job.

Equally, Jimmy Lwanga, the Njeru Municipality member of parliament revealed that several factories operating in areas surrounding the Mabira are contravening environmental protocols with impunity and discharging effluents into the forests.

The legislators informed the deputy speaker that their attempts to seek an audience with NFA and the National Environment Management Authority – NEMA have been futile and now want Parliament to intervene as soon as possible.

Tayebwa, who visited Buikwe in the company of his wife Anita Rukundo Tayebwa, and representatives of the Rotary Club of Kampala Central heard emotional stories about the environmental injustices from residents who met him at St. Joseph’s Seminary Nyenga.  

Touched by the story, Tayemba, who was in Buikwe to celebrate his 42nd birthday initiated a tree-planting crusade to mark a renewed call to plant indigenous tree species to save Mabira. He expressed shock at the extent of destruction in and around Mabira Central Forest Reserve. 

Tayebwa promised to dispatch the Natural Resources Committee and Climate Change committees of parliament to assess the magnitude of the destruction and report back to the House for debate aimed at restoring Mabira and punishing the culprits. 

He also criticized a section of Ugandans masquerading at the international level as climate change activists to siphon funds from western funders yet they have never planted a single tree back home. 

Located between Lugazi and Jinja, Mabira is a rainforest area covering about 300 square kilometers. It has been the largest remaining block of semi-evergreen rainforest in the Victoria Basin forest-savanna mosaic eco-region since 1932.

In April 2007, a deadly protest masterminded by Beatrice Atim Anywar, the then Kitgum District Woman MP under the opposition Forum for Democratic Change- FDC party erupted against President Yoweri Museveni’s proposed giveaway of part of the forest measuring 7,100 hectares to Mehta Group of Companies for expansion of their sugarcane plantation. The protest resulted in the death of three people when the crusaders clashed with law enforcement officers.    

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