September 29, 2022: The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has stopped a developer from encroaching on and backfilling part of Lake Victoria with stones and murram in Entebbe.
The intervention follows a whistleblower’s outcry, including videos and pictures shared on social media about the legality of activities that were taking place on-site.
A team of inspectors was dispatched to the site this week and discovered that indeed murram and stones were being deposited into the lake and yet the developer did not have the requisite approvals as required by the law.
In a separate incident, the Environment Police also arrested four persons of Asian origin who were found backfilling a wetland near Kajjansi Airfield. A truck found on site was also deregistered.
In both cases, the inspectors discovered that the developers had not undertaken an Environment and Social Impact Assessment, contrary to provisions of the National Environment Act, No 5 2019.
The Environment Protection Police Unit has commenced investigations into the matter to bring other suspects who are still at large to book and the process of prosecution has been initiated.
“Wetlands and lake shores are a vital part of our ecosystem. They are habitats for species, and perform unique hydrological functions such as regulation of water quality, reducing soil erosion and aiding in flood control. Despite these important ecological functions, such critical ecosystems have been a target for encroachment, especially for settlement, agriculture and other developments,” NEMA said.
“We thank the public for being watchful and commend vigilant members of society who often show concern about environmental breaches within communities. Together, we shall halt degradation and jointly restore our environment,” it added.