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Kampala is the capital city of Uganda and it is located in the central region of the country. It has an area of about 238 square kilometers, a big part of which was once a wetland. Geographically Kampala is referred to as a city of seven hills separated by valleys with swamps and streams also called wetlands. Today the wetlands in this area is on the verge of extinction as they are being threatened by the increasing population in the city. Kampala's wetlands are mostly located on the shores thus their waters are collected and poured in the lakes like Victoria which is the largest in East Africa. What has remained of these places is the drainage channels which have diverted the flow of water out of these wetlands. The expansion of the city from its old self to the current location has greatly lead to the depletion of wetlands around it. Historically, Kampala's wetlands go back before 1900 when they belonged to the Kabaka (king) of Buganda.(Buganda was one of the ancient kingdoms in Uganda). Under the colonial rule, these wetlands were turned to the Queen of Britain in the name of crownland and were supervised by the colonial governors. No person during that time was allowed to encroach on these wetlands. With the exit of colonial masters after independence, these wetlands suffered from conflicts over their ownership. The cultural leaders and new politicians mismanaged these areas and the wetlands were destroyed totally. In Kampala, the city and its immediate environment is managed and administered by the City Council of Kampala. This government body has greatly fostered destruction of these treasured areas. The city council has neglected the laws set up to protect the wetlands. Under section 74 of the Public Health Act, one who interferes with the land around the city should be sued in court but, due to corruption, Kampala City Council has sold off these areas to "money hungry" people who have reclaimed these areas to an extent of extinction. The Government of Uganda has conflicting ideologies over environmental protection with respect to economic growth and so, no real supervision is done over the authorities in charge of wetland conservation. The call for modernisation of Kampala's areas and industrialization by politicians and other leaders today, we fear that Kampala's wetlands will not survive.
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