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Christopher Kisembo


Christopher Kisembo is a human rights defender working on land, water, and environmental rights for local communities in Fort Portal and in the greater Kabarole region. In May 2015, a fish farming project was developed by Kabarole District government and a private company, Ferdsult Engineering Services Limited, in 20 local lakes. This project was established without community consultation or participation. With the recent implementation of the infrastructure of the fish farming project, community members are banned from being within 100 metres of the lakes. This has led to several forced evictions of local community members from their land, with no recourse for re-settlement or compensation. Futhermore, as the lakes serve as water resevoirs for local communities and their livestock, access to water as well as the activities of local fishermen have been affected. Christopher Kisembo has been instrumental in mobilising the community response to the evictions and loss of access to the lakes.

Human rights defenders (HRDs) in Uganda have faced threats and harassment in recent years as the government continued to limit freedom of expression and association. Human rights defenders advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people have been particularly at risk. The government has clamped down on independent media and enacted legislation restricting civil and political rights and constraining the functioning of non governmental organizations (NGOs).