Residents cautioned against degrading Kyatwa Hill
By Dorcus Murungi
The community surrounding Kyatwa Hill in Bunyangabu District have been cautioned against carrying out agricultural practices that are destroying the land terrain.
The Hill which has an elevation of 1,397 meters from the sea level and covers approximately 250 hectares of land, has approximately 600 families carrying out different agricultural practices which have adversely affected the land terrain making it a potential disastrous area.
According to Edgar Muganzi the Senior Environmental Officer Bunyangabu District, Kyatwa Hill is a fragile resource that needs to be protected to avoid calamities like landslides, increased strong winds and hail storms, damage of land and infrastructure and death which will most likely occur if the current agricultural practices continue.
He thus asked the community to embrace planting of indigenous tree species that will hold water and control soil erosion in the long run.
“The only way to preserve our Hill is by planting more trees, it is unfortunate that some of you are given free tree seedlings from the District but you leave them to rot and get wasted instead of planting them on this Hill which might turn into a potential threat soon,” he noted.
He asked residents not to boycott tree planting fearing the fact that it will consume all the land for cultivation but rather look at it as an environmental conservation method that will help control calamities that may not be easy to manage.
Gerald Tumwesigye the Agricultural Officer Bunyangabu asked the community to embrace Coffee farming on Kyatwa Hill.
He said instead of residents practicing other farming activities like cattle keeping that promote soil erosion, Coffee farming is a venture that will preserve the Hill and at the same time help them earn money which will help to uplift their house hold income.
Mr. Tumwesigye explained that the Department of Production and Marketing in Bunyangabu is ready to give out free Coffee seedlings to Farmers specifically on Kyatwa Hill.
“I’m encouraging the community of Kyatwa Hill to avoid agricultural practices that are worsening the situation on the Hill, try as much as possible to heed to our professional advice otherwise we don’t want to arrest those who will defy,” he said.
According to Ismail Asiimwe the Chairperson LCI Ntabago A, most residents surrounding Kyatwa Hill derive their survival from the Hill a reason why many are afraid of planting trees because they are scared of failing to get land where they could plant their food for home consumption.
Asiimwe added that on many occasions those very families shun away from trainings that are organized by the District Officials specifically about land usage on Kyatwa because they fear to be evicted from this