Wednesday July 11 2018

Entebbe authorities halt sand mining

Halted. Miners dig up sand at Lugumba Landing

Halted. Miners dig up sand at Lugumba Landing Site in Kasanje Sub-county, Wakiso District, last month. PHOTO BY JOSEPH KIGGUNDU 


Entebbe. Authorities in Katabi Town Council, Entebbe Municipality, have implemented National Environment Management Authority (Nema) directive and halted all sand mining activities in the area until Parliament comes up with guidelines to streamline the business in the country.
Led by the mayor, Mr Ronald Kalema, the local leaders said they have also cancelled operational licences that were issued to individuals and sand mining companies in the area.
“We are equally concerned about the unchecked ongoing environmental degradation and this prompted us to rally behind Nema to save our environment,” Mr Kalema said on Wednesday.
Some of the key affected companies include; Mango Tree Group Ltd which is run by Chinese investors and Porch Group Ltd.

Mr Kalema said they would not have any problem with sand miners if they had gone through proper channels, but most of them continued their operations even after their licences were revoked.
The municipality deputy town clerk, Mr Dan Fred Lutaaya, said defiant sand miners will be prosecuted if they continue with their activities.
“Some of them were carrying out their activities close to our solid waste dumping site. If they continue, they will destroy the wetland which separates the site from Lake Victoria,” Mr Lutaaya said.
The 15-acre site serves lower administrative units like Katabi, Kajjansi and Makindye/Ssabagabo Municipality.

The Wakiso District chairperson, Mr Matia Lwanga Bwanika, said sand mining has been politicised in the area and urged Parliament to quicken the process of drafting new guidelines.
“Whenever we complain about some investors who are bent on destroying our environment, some people bring in politics which has frustrated our efforts to streamline the business,” Mr Bwanika said.