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Pakwach arrests dozens over wetland encroachment 

(Last Updated On: 13 February 2023)

The RDC of Pakwach told TND News at the weekend that the suspects’ files were ready. 

On February 10, 2023, Pakwach district authorities carried out an operation to protect the wetlands in the district. Nearly two have been arrested.

The operation was manned by the Office of the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), the District Environment Office and the Environment Police.

Speaking on phone to TND News Saturday evening, RDC Paul Eseru said a total of 21 people were “arrested red-handed in Juba Wetland over encroachment”. 

According to Eseru, these people have been very adamant to vacate the wetland despite numerous sensitization and engagement meetings. 

“For the past two years, the District Environment Officer has been on the ground sensitising the communities of Dei sub-county who were utilising  Juba Wetland for the cultivation of vegetables, grazing and settlement to stop it and utilise other available lands for their activities,” said the RDC. 

On October 30, 2022, he revealed the Deputy RDC together with the Head of the RDC Secretariat, Lt. Col. Kibrai Ambaku visited the same Wetland to sensitise the people. 

On February 1 2023, the office of RDC, DISO, Rwot of Panyimur; NRM District Chairman, Chairman LC3, Councillors, LC2s and LC1s met with the communities and sensitised them to vacate the wetland. “But this seems to have fallen on deaf ears.” 

Lack of obedience prompted the authorities to swing into action and later apprehended the perpetrators, who were until Saturday still in police custody waiting to be arraigned before the Courts of Law.  

The RDC warned the rest of the people, particularly those along River Ora, and Albert Nile to vacate the wetlands and the Buffer zones in the areas of Wadelai, Pokwero, Panyango, Pakwach town council; Pakwach sub-county, Panyimur and Dei. 

Wetlands
Some of those who were arrested put in a police car. Courtesy photo.

According to RDC Eseru, the files of those arrested were ready and they are to be produced in Court on Monday, February 13, 2023, for flouting the presidential directives on wetlands.

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