Uganda: Lake Victoria was once surrounded by forests

“There used to be a forest reserve around Lake Victoria. When there is
surface run-off and there is no forest, all the soil goes into the
lake. If there is a belt of trees with undergrowth, those act as
natural filters. We should stand firm and say, nobody should cut this
forest,” he said. Centuries ago, the Ugandan side of the lake was
surrounded by large forests stretching from West Bugwe in Busia
district to Sango-bay in Rakai district.
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Over the years due to population pressure, commercial and human
activity, the forests have been massively cut leaving patches of
creeping plants and shrubs. Museveni was on Tuesday addressing
journalists at State House, Nakasero on the clashes in south Busoga
forest reserve that had pitted encroachers against National Forestry
Authority (NFA) and Mayuge district leaders.

The NFA board of trustees chairman, Baguma Isoke, attributed the problem to the presence of forests on private land and failure by the Government to survey, demarcate and name forest reserves.

Encroachment, fires during dry seasons, absence of rangers and law enforcement officers are other reasons Isoke cited. Museveni asked NFA to spell out details for every forest in 2006. However, he said the report given to him was not detailed and he had asked for an elaborate one. “My plan for the
environment is not this Lukyamuzi nonsense. It is scientific, rational
and impeccable. “I can come and say, you are sitting where God did not
want you to sit and you cannot resist,” he added. The former Lubaga
South MP, Ken Lukyamuzi, is a self-acclaimed environmentalist and
opposes Government programmes, which he says, are detrimental to the
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