According to the Daily Monitor, Entebbe Municipality officials have tasked the ministry of Lands to review land titles and leases for developers who purchased land along Lake Victoria shores.
They argue some developers obtained the properties by fraudulent means. Others, while they hold legitimate titles, have expanded into buffer zones.
According to Mr. Richard Ssekyondo, deputy mayor of Entebbe Municipality, developers have encroached on the 200 meter buffer zones along the shoreline. This has endangered the lake’s aquatic life.
A buffer zone is a piece of land set aside to protect the ecosystem. According to the National Environment Management Act, anyone who wants to build a permanent building in a 200-meter buffer zone must get permission from the authorities.
“We have made some efforts as local authorities to restore the shores, but we have failed because most of the people we approach claim to own land titles. We are, therefore, asking the Ministry of Lands to review all their leases and land titles and see whether they acquired the land in a proper way,” Mr Ssekyondo said during an interview on the matter.
He claims that there are rules that developers must obey when building hotels and beaches.
“All those buffer zones would have been used by fishermen to dock their boats, but they have no access. Today, you find one person has raised a perimeter wall or structure stretching to the lake shores, which is illegal,” he added.
Mr. Dennis Obbo, a spokesperson for the Lands Ministry, advised Entebbe municipal leaders to file a formal petition with the commissioner for land registry over the issue.
“The law is very clear; no land title should be issued in the prohibited area. So whoever is holding such a title is doing so illegally or is holding it in error,” Mr. Obbo said.
He further added, “We usually advise the owners [of land titles] to return them to the office of the commissioner for review because no one should hold a title in a buffer zone.”
The Entebbe municipal authority demolished some illegal walls and buildings that extended across the buffer zones on the shores of Lake Victoria on Nambi Road in 2019. However, some owners have since rebuilt them.
According to the National Environment Management Act, permanent buildings cannot be built in the buffer areas of a lake, river, or wetland.
However, without the permission of the National Environment Management Authority, many settlements have been built on the shorelines in Entebbe Division A, Manyago, Bugonga, and Kigungu (Nema).
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