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Judge petitions Environment minister over illegal beaches in Entebbe

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Some of the structures along Nambi Road Beach that Justice Choudry wants demolished. Photo by Martin Ssebuyira. 

By Martin Ssebuyira

Posted  Wednesday, July 30  2014 at  15:11
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Entebbe.
High Court Judge Anup Singh Choudry has petitioned the Minister of Water and Environment Prof Ephraim Kamuntu seeking his intervention in a matter where unauthorized people are eating away Entebbe lake shoreline by constructing illegal beaches.
Mr Choudry in the missive asked Mr Kamuntu to issue an Environmental Restoration Order restraining business people from constructing more illegal beaches along Nambi Road Beach in Entebbe.
“I am aware that the rot started when the previous administration of Entebbe was paid and they allowed a couple of people to build on the lake shore. As a result, other trespassers took liberty to add their structures as it became an area free for all and the rot could not be stopped. Some even built toilets on the beach,” he said in the letter dated July 25.
Justice Choudry who doubles as an International Auditor in Environment noted that Entebbe forests have been destroyed, in addition to chemicals being poured into the beach, swamps are being taken over by individuals for private use.
Mr Choudry further claims that the lakes in the country, especially Lake Victoria are being eroded under the watch of Entebbe Municipal Council and National Environment Management Authority(NEMA).
He added that there is a distinction under the Environmental Act in putting up structure on the lake shore as opposed to a beach where the former is subject to Article 34 which must also comply with an Environmental Impact Assessment in accordance with Sections 19,20and 21 of the Environment Act.
Last week Choudry gave Entebbe Municipal Council and NEMA a 30 day ultimatum to demolish all illegal structures erected along Nambi Road Beach in Entebbe or face legal action.
Entebbe Town Clerk Wilson Mande and NEMA Executive Director, Dr Tom Okia Okurut said that they are yet to respond to the judge because they were still studying the ultimatum.
When contacted for a comment, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu said he was attending a cabinet meeting in Entebbe and could not immediately give response on Justice Choudry’s matter.
NEMA and Entebbe Municipal Council in 2011 threatened to close all beaches on this stretch saying they were blocking residents from accessing the lake and some had toilets on the lakeshores. The property include Siena Beach Resort, Black and White Lounge, Two Friends Restaurant, Anderita Beach Hotel, Goretti’s Pizzeria, Island Cafe Beach Hotel and Mulowoza Restaurant.

Ssebuyira@ug.nationmedia.com