Increased Theft in Nkumba Attributed to Eviction of Sand Miners from Kyewaga Forest Reserve

By Priscilla Atwiine

Local leaders in Nkumba central have expressed worry on the increasing cases of theft, burglary and robbery that are becoming rampant within the area.

The LC1 Chairperson John Lubuubi has on Tuesday morning attributed the cause of such illicit acts to the seizure of sand mining and brick laying operations practiced by locals in Kyewaga forest reserve in Katabi town council, Wakiso district.

Lubuubi says the forest reserve had been the source of income for the youth within Nkumba Central and as they were forced to halt the operations by NEMA, they remained unable to find resources to cater for their basic needs and instead turned to theft and robbery to earn a living.

Police in Katabi has of late reported numerous cases of theft and robbery involving groups of teenagers, the most notable being the swagga attackers.

Some of the items recovered from the suspected thieves

“We will shoot and kill the thieves because the situation is going out of hand,” says Entebbe Deputy RDC Noor Njuki. Police has registered about 3 break ins every week reported by residents in Katabi. The area Chairperson John Lubuubi registers even more.

“I record such cases on a daily; parents don’t have money to take their children to school anymore. People don’t have what to eat because they have no source of income the lake is surrounded by gunmen.”

The Gombolola Internal Security Officer for Katabi Richard Ssaka blamed Politicians for protecting the different the criminals after being arrested in operations.

Kyewaga central forest reserve about 20 acres. It has been the same place used by the sand miners to earn. The forest employed over 1000 people engaging in sand mining and brick laying.

Several times, authorities in Entebbe and Katabi town Council halted sand mining operations arguing that they contribute to environmental degradation. Recently, a detach of the UPDF was instituted to prevent resident from engaging in the sand mining practices within the area.

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