By Katamu Nedinani
The Government through the National Environment management Authority has started the process of gazetting all wetlands Across the nation in a process which follows the mapping exercise of primary,secondary and tertiary wetlands.
The Environment watchdog has stepped up campaigns asking all members of the public operating and holding developments in wetlands to vacate and relocate the developments to safer areas.
Following the Launch of the dissemination of the National Environment Act by the National Environment Management Authority,
NEMA’s Executive Director Dr. Akankwasa Barirega says they now need four billion shillings to pay to the Uganda printing and publishing company for printing and publishing the act for full scale demarcation to proceed.
The Launch of the dissemination of the National Environment Act by NEMA is to repeal, replace and reform the law relating to environmental management in Uganda.
Speaking to RDCs, LC5s, CAOs & environment officers from the districts of Masindi, Hoima, Nwoya, Bulisa & Pakwach,Mr Akankwasa says section 2 of the 2019 act requirs that wetlands be gazzeted there by sending early warnings for encroachers to voluntarily leave the wetlands.
NEMA’s move is backed up by a presidential directive to have wetlands recovered and restored so as to maintain them as catchment areas.However the environment watchdog is facing challenges where many individuals are possessing land titles in wetlands.
The Environment act being disseminated provides for the management of the environment for sustainable development to continue the National Environment Management Authority as a coordinating, monitoring, regulatory and supervisory body for environment related activities in Uganda.
NEMA has stepped up sensitization to encourage self regulation on land use and protection of wetlands as enshrined in the national environment act.The dissemination exercise Held at Kabalega Resort Masindi was conducted in partnership with wildlife conservation society.