Masaka City receives 40-acre forest as gift from former Kabaka chief for eco-tourism

On April 8, 2022, Masaka City Mayor Florence Namayanja, Mr Kwewayo, and other city officials inspect the forest (PHOTO/Courtesy)

On April 8, 2022, Masaka City Mayor Florence Namayanja, Mr Kwewayo, and other city officials inspect the forest (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Mr. Charles Kiyimba Kwewaayo, the former Kabaka’s chief in Buddu County (Masaka), has donated a forest to the city council in order to convert it into a tourist center in an effort to improve tourism in Masaka City.

The 40-acre forest is located in Kannabukuliro Village, Kimaanya/Kabonera Municipality, Masaka City. It is home to around 40 indigenous tree species, birds, and animals, as well as two streams that run through it, among other potential tourist attractions.

While viewing the forest with city officials on Friday, Mr. Kwewayo stated that the city would receive a lease for 25 years, 49 years, or 99 years, depending on the wishes of the authorities.

My passion for this city has compelled me to give you this lovely forest so that it might be used to promote tourism in this region of the country “He stated.

Mr. Kwewaayo, the mayor of Masaka City, commended Mr. Kwewaayo for caring for the environment and preserving the forest for so long.

As a businessman, he might have sold it to private owners for different purposes, but he decided to entrust it to us to care for and encourage urban tourism “He stated.

Mr. Kwewaayo’s generosity, according to Pauline Nabadda, the city of Masaka’s environmental officer, has given them new motivation to continue working to protect the city’s environment.

We consider ourselves fortunate to have this forest, and we commit to protect all of the tree species found there. Before building a botanical garden, as the landowner has recommended, Ms. Nabadda stated that there are some easy activities that may be carried out right immediately, such as beekeeping and forest walks.

Mr. Kimaanya/Kabonera Municipality town clerk, Mr. Ibrah Mutebi, stated that they planned to sign a memorandum of understanding with Mr. Kwewayo in order to develop the forest into a prominent tourist destination.

“If we market it properly, it will become a destination that any tourist visiting Masaka will want to visit,”he stated.

Masaka City also has streams and two major wetlands (Ramsar sites). The Nabajjuzi wetland system and the Lake Nabagabo habitat are two examples. It was recently suggested that it be designated as a Ramsar site.

To qualify for Ramsar City status, a city must have, among other things, adopted measures for the conservation of wetlands and their services, such as biodiversity and hydrological integrity, implemented wetland restoration and management measures, considered the challenges and opportunities of integrated spatial and land use planning for wetlands under its jurisdiction, and delivered locally tailored information to raise public awareness about the value of wetlands.

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