By Maurice Eriku
Wet lands in Arua district are at a greater risk of depletion as farmers in the district migrate their farming activities to the valleys.
Although earlier warning signs and precaution was issued by Adiga Lawrence Ozubia, the chairman of the Albertine water catchment committee to stop encroachment, this seems to have hit a dead end as farming continues normally in the wetlands.
Abibo Timothy, a farmer in Anzu village, Yivu parish in Pajulu Sub County says he treasures farming in the wetlands because it pays off and is the only feasible option in the prolonged dry spell.
Meanwhile Aliga Ejidio, a horticulture farmer in Ajiriva village says much as wetland encroachment is unlawful, the government must design strategies to help farmers use the wetlands safely and introduce micro irrigation schemes to cope with long dry spells which pushes them to the valleys.
Andiandu Joachim, Arua district environment officer however says there is need to conserve the water catchments or else we risk losing the entire water ecosystem.
According to the National Environmental Management Authority -NEMA guidelines on wet lands, farmers are to cultivate at least 30 meters from the water catchments and river banks and maintain green wetlands which is not practiced by most farmers in the district. End