National News

 
 
 

Wetland Restoration Drive Imminent in Eastern Uganda

MBALE

The government has embarked on a drive to restore critical wetlands in Eastern and South Western Uganda as part of a multipronged project seeking to build resilient communities, wetland ecosystems and associated catchments.

The eight-year project is supported by a USD 24 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, USD 2 million from the United Nations Development Programme-UNDP and USD 18.12 million in co-financing from the Government of Uganda.

Under the project, the government intends to restore an estimated area of at least 760 square kilometres of degraded wetlands and associated catchments and improve the lives of at least 500,000 people living in 20 districts in Eastern and South Western regions of Uganda.

Targeted districts in Eastern Uganda include Pallisa, Tororo, Mbale, Budaka, Butaleja, Ngora, Bukedea, Kaliro, Namutumba and Kibuku in Eastern Uganda. Some of these have experienced the highest levels of wetland degradation and climate change impacts, according to Paul Mafabi, the director of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Water and Environment.

Mafabi says the project will employ a three-pronged approach including; restoration of wetlands and associated forests improved agricultural practices and alternative livelihood options in the wetland catchment areas and strengthening access to climate and early warning information to farmers.

He was speaking at a meeting with Residents District Commissions, district Chairpersons, Chief Administrative Officers, environmental officers and climate experts held at Mbale District headquarters hall, Sunday.

It is anticipated that the restored wetlands will also enhance communities' climate change adaptation and resilience, by reducing risk to flooding and drought associated with changing climatic conditions.

About 4 million people are estimated to be living adjacent to wetland areas in Uganda and rely on these areas to feed their families and make a living. Wetlands are also an important ecosystem that captures carbon and their conservation will contribute to lowered greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Mafabi, the project will also diversify economic activities for the vulnerable communities living in the Southwestern and Eastern regions of Uganda through the introduction of improved fishing and agricultural practices among other activities.

The project will be implemented by the Ministries of Water and Environment, Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries together with the Uganda National Meteorology Authority. It will also engage various civil society and the private sector groups.

 
 

400 International Pilgrims Register for Martyrs Day

 
 
 

KAMPALA

Over 400 international pilgrims have registered for this year's Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations held annually at Namugongo Martyrs shrines on June 3rd.

Mrs Theresa Obbo, chairperson of the pilgrims committee, said as of Wednesday, over 400 international pilgrims from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania had registered and confirmed participation at Namugongo Catholic Shrine.

Obbo also revealed that foot pilgrims from Tororo Archdiocese, the animators of the 2018 celebrations, have also begun registration. Tororo Archdiocese will animate the celebrations on behalf of Tororo Ecclesiastical Province which comprises of the Dioceses of Jinja, Kotido, Moroto, Soroti and Tororo.

Obbo made the disclosure during the third preparatory meeting of the Central Organising Committees at the Uganda Catholic Secretariat, at Nsambya on Wednesday.

"We have already started the registration process of both local and international pilgrims. We have so far received a list of names from Malawi, South Africa and Tanzania as well as from the foot pilgrims in Uganda," she said, adding that "We encourage pilgrims especially from outside Uganda to register with us so as to guide them upon arrival on certain things such vigil Masses, accommodation and offertory among other things."

She added that pilgrims, especially those who intend to travel to Namugongo on foot, should go for thorough medical check-up before starting the journey to avoid injuries along the way or preventable deaths.

The Uganda Martyrs Day celebration usually attracts enthusiastic pilgrims from across the globe. International pilgrims usually come from East African countries, United States of America, Nigeria, Mexico, Malawi, Italy, Zambia, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, India, Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada among others.

The event is held annually celebrate the lives of 45 new converts to Christianity, who were killed between 1885 and 1887 on the orders Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda. Twenty-two of the converts were Catholic while the rest were Anglicans.

The Roman Catholic Church canonised the 22 martyrs in 1964.

 
 

Brig Sabiiti to Fire Police Officers who Escaped from Training

 
 
 

KAMPALA

Brigadier Sabiiti Muzeyi, the newly appointed Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), has ordered for action to be taken against three police officers who escaped from training at the Kigo Marine Base.

Speaking today at the pass out of 609 gazetted officers, non-commissioned officers and men at Kigo, who have been undergoing a basic security and tactical course, Brigadier Sabiiti said the officers have no place in police after such an action.

Sabiiti arrived for his first assignment as the DIGP in a military double cabin pickup truck escorted by bodyguards in military police uniform.

The officers who include; Probational Police Constables Kenneth Tamale, Julius Lwabayi and Jerry Openyrwoth had been sent from Masaka regional Policing region but after a few days on the two-month course, they abandoned the training base. A report from their training supervisor indicates that they were changed after they were found to have abandoned their weapons and trying to escape from the base.

According to Brig Sabiiti, action will have to be taken against the officers. "How can a police officer abandon his gun? Any officer who abandons his gun has no place in the force," Sabiiti said.

The pass out was the third since 2017 when Kampala Metropolitan Police began implementing the Police Council resolution for all directorates and departments to have internal basic security management courses.

So far 1100 police personnel have undergone the training which incorporates a tactical training for weapons handling, target shooting, and counter insurgency response among many others.

The Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Frank Mwesigwa, says the tactical training, especially target shooting, will help officers avoid cases of stray bullets.

Brigadier Sabiiti says he has been impressed by various aspects of the course which include multi-tasking of officers from all units, mixing of officers from all ranks in the training as well as the tactical aspect of the training.

"With the current wave of crime, it's important for every officer to be able to respond even if it is a traffic officer. I'm really impressed and I pledge my support for the continuation of the training," Sabiiti said.

He added that all other regions, units and directorates should borrow a leaf from this.

Some of the officers taken for the course include cadets who have been away from the training school for a year and a half. While some were selected to undertake the course for poor performance, others were sent for the course due to lack of fitness and gaining of weight.Brigadier Sabiiti Muzeyi, the newly appointed Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP), has ordered for action to be taken against three police officers who escaped from training at the Kigo Marine Base.

Speaking today at the pass out of 609 gazetted officers, non-commissioned officers and men at Kigo, who have been undergoing a basic security and tactical course, Brigadier Sabiiti said the officers have no place in police after such an action.

Sabiiti arrived for his first assignment as the DIGP in a military double cabin pickup truck escorted by bodyguards in military police uniform.

The officers who include; Probational Police Constables Kenneth Tamale, Julius Lwabayi and Jerry Openyrwoth had been sent from Masaka regional Policing region but after a few days on the two-month course, they abandoned the training base. A report from their training supervisor indicates that they were changed after they were found to have abandoned their weapons and trying to escape from the base.

According to Brig Sabiiti, action will have to be taken against the officers. "How can a police officer abandon his gun? Any officer who abandons his gun has no place in the force," Sabiiti said.

The pass out was the third since 2017 when Kampala Metropolitan Police began implementing the Police Council resolution for all directorates and departments to have internal basic security management courses.

So far 1100 police personnel have undergone the training which incorporates a tactical training for weapons handling, target shooting, and counter insurgency response among many others.

The Kampala Metropolitan Police commander, Frank Mwesigwa, says the tactical training, especially target shooting, will help officers avoid cases of stray bullets.

Brigadier Sabiiti says he has been impressed by various aspects of the course which include multi-tasking of officers from all units, mixing of officers from all ranks in the training as well as the tactical aspect of the training.

"With the current wave of crime, it's important for every officer to be able to respond even if it is a traffic officer. I'm really impressed and I pledge my support for the continuation of the training," Sabiiti said.

He added that all other regions, units and directorates should borrow a leaf from this.

Some of the officers taken for the course include cadets who have been away from the training school for a year and a half. While some were selected to undertake the course for poor performance, others were sent for the course due to lack of fitness and gaining of weight.

 
 

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