By Max Patrico Ocaido
Government has cancelled all land titles in the sand rich Lwera wetland following a recent recommendation from the parliamentary committee on Natural Resources.
Betty Amongi Ongom, minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development said that government has heeded to public calls to cancel the land titles in Lwera wetland in the districts of Mpigi and Kanungu over rampant illegal sand mining. Amongi was making a ministerial statement on the floor of Parliament in response to the report from the committee of Natural Resources which was presented on November 16, 2016.
“The Ministry has received a comprehensive list arising out of the Cabinet directive to cancel all titles in wetlands. A roadmap of implementation has been approved. Through the Office of the Commissioner Land Registration, the Ministry has issued notices of cancellation of titles to the registered owners of the affected land titles in the Lwera wetland,” Amongi said.
She added, “After issuance of the notices of cancellation, formal hearings will be conducted where the title holders will be called and thereafter cancellation of their titles will be effected immediately.”
Amongi added that for those land titles which may not be cancelled, the owners will be put to strict compliance of the land use for which the land was meant for as per the guidelines which are being formulated jointly by the Ministries of Energy, Lands, water and environment.
Natural Resources committee earlier on recommended that the Commissioner Land Administration should cancel the titles issued in the Lwera Wetland and the Minister of Lands should report to Parliament within three weeks on the progress of the cancellation of the titles.
For the case of mapping areas with sand deposits that are viable for commercial sand mining, Minister Amongi said that her ministry is liaising with Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to collect geological information regarding the locations of sand and corresponding quantities.
“After the geological surveys have been carried out, the Ministry of Lands under Department of Survey and Mapping, shall prepare thematic maps clearly showing the location and quantities of deposits of sand and other minerals,” Amongi said.