Natural Resources

NATURAL RESOURCES DEPATMENT-PROFILE

BACKGROUND
Kyenjojo district is endowed with a variety of natural resources on which the majority of the people depend for their livelihoods. These resources include forests, wetlands, minerals, wildlife, good climate, arable soils and bare hills intersected by shallow valleys among others. These resources need to be harnessed in a sustainable way for posterity and economic development of the district. Since they can barely support food crop production, the numerous bare hills present the best sites and opportunity for tree growing.

Land tenure
Like in other district of Uganda, land ownership is varied but most land is held as customary tenure but slowly changing to freehold. Due to weak policies and inadequate enforcement of legislation, large chunks of forest situated on private and former public land have been cleared to provide space for agriculture and settlement. Inadequate security of tenure and unclear boundary issues are being addressed by the department through land surveying and titling to reduce land related conflict over land tenure ownership.

Land use
Currently subsistence farming covers a total area of about 181,250ha and dominates the district household activities. Key crops include tea, coffee, maize, cassava, beans and ground nuts. Some livestock such as cattle, goats, pigs, and poultry are kept. Commercial tea growing and processing dominates, much of the western part of the district covering about 2,910ha. The majority of the farmers have not adopted modern methods and the agro-processing sector accounts for less than 30% of agriculture. Due to over cultivation and tea mono-cropping, the fragile soils have lost fertility in some areas, leading to opening up of more land, further destroying the already stressed vegetation. Also clearing of woodland and forests for wide scale tea farming has adversely contributed to the decline in tree cover.

Forest and woodlands
Biomass satellite image studies of 1990 indicated that 35% of the total district area was under forest cover totalling 142,062ha (Kyaka county inclusive). Gazetted Central Forest Reserves cover 33,136ha while Local Forest Reserves cover only 8ha of highly degraded scanty unproductive Eucalyptus trees. Notable of the central forest reserves are Matiiri, Kitecura, Kibego, Itwara, Ibambara, Muhangi, Buhungiro, Nkera, the Mwenge plantations and part of Kibale Forest National Park.
Out of the gazetted area, 1,993ha are softwood plantations while 227ha are hard wood plantations. All softwood plantations and the major blocks of Tropical High Forests 34,776 Ha, are under the control of the National Forest Authority (NFA) and a total of 107,286Ha are under the control of Uganda Wild-life Authority (UWA). The Local Government Authority has almost no role to play in the daily management of these forests as it owns only a paltry 8ha of degraded Eucalyptus plantation.

Water resources and wet lands
The district is endowed with abundant ground water sources due to the existence of wetlands. About 173 seasonal and permanent wetlands exist covering an area of 9,176ha (inclusive of Kyaka County). If water supply is to be maintained for sustainable economic development, it is important to protect all water sources and catchment areas.
Departmental Specific Objectives
a) To promote orderly, coordinated and sustainable spatial development of land in all rural and urban areas in the district
b) To conserve forests and increase tree cover in the district
c) To create an enabling environment for the participation of all stake holders in effective use and management of land resources in the district.
d) To protect and conserve the environment for sustainable development.
e) To provide a reliable resource for the provision and coordination of competitive land surveying services in the District.

Department Mission:
To promote the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in Kyenjojo District

Department Vision:
Sustainable Natural Resource Use, Land Tenure Security, Affordable Decent Housing, and Organized Urban Development.

Staff:
The Department is composed of the four divisions as follows:
1) Administration
2) Land Management (Land Administration, Land Surveying, Physical planning)
3) Environment
4) Forestry

The key staff members of the Department are:
1) Mugisha Mbanzarugo Charles, Tel: 0782300062: District Natural Resources Officer and Head of Department:
2) Agaba John Paul; Tel. 0785609595: Senior Land Management Officer,
3) Bigabwa Julius Tel. 0772665633, Senior Environment Officer;
4) Olike Christopher Tel. 0782525548, Ag. District Forest Officer;
5) Other staff member are: Mr. Kayanja Hervet; Tel: 0782993925: Staff Surveyor, Miss Kahoza Evelyn: The Physical Planner Tel 0782673767 and Mr. Rubongoya Richard, the Environment Officer Tel 0772399405

Services offered by the department:
 Recommendation for approval of land application
 Advisory to the land surveying and titling processes
 Facilitating Land surveying and tiling
 Recommend to NEMA the approval of Environment Impact assessment
 Environment Project screening of small projects
 Forest trade regulation, licensing, and law enforcement
 Environment awareness campaign law enforcement
 Technical advice on waste management
 Protection of fragile ecosystems
 Physical planning guidance, approvals and compliance monitoring
 Technical support to tree planting

Implementation Partners
1) National Forestry Authority (NFA) provides tree seedlings and protects central forest Reserves in the district
2) National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) protection of wetlands
3) Uganda Wild life Authority protects wildlife and provides revenue sharing funds to the district.
4) CARE and JESE do Monitor forestry activities and lobby for forest conservation
5) Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA) provide weather advisory services to farmers in the district
6) ACODE lobby central government for positive environment and forestry policies
Challenges
 Land conflicts due to un surveyed government and private land
 Environmental degradation due to population increase
 Deforestation due to land use change and high demand for forest produce
 Mushrooming unplanned settlement causing slam urban setups
 Lack of departmental staff to enforce environmental/forest laws and regulations at lower local levels
 Increasing cases of wetland encroachment

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