KCCA blocks Banyenzaki beach project on wetland
Posted Friday, March 7 2014 at 02:00
Being cautious. The authority claims that encroaching on the wetland will deter filtering of water running into Lake Victoria.
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has rejected a proposal by minister Henry Banyenzaki to put up a beach on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Mr Banyenzaki, the state minister for Economic Monitoring, had submitted to the KCCA directorate of Public Health and Environment, a request to be allowed to begin development of Miami Sand Beach on plots 1-3 in Luzira.
“The purpose of this letter is to seek for your approval of carrying the black soil from Luzira Port bell in the National Housing site and use it for landscaping the Greenbelt provided in the plan,” Mr Banyenzaki wrote in his February 24 letter.
KCCA, however, upon carrying out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), discovered that the project site is located in a hydrological sensitive zone and within a fragile riparian wetland ecosystem along Lake Victoria shore line.
The authority further found out that the project is a critical buffer for water quality regulation and that hydrological flow and water level fluctuations in the area, by current and previous developments are already manifested and clearly visible.
“The on-going activities including back-filling with murram must stop with immediate effect and the project is therefore not recommended for approval,” the KCCA project site assessment, a copy that this newspaper has obtained, read.
However, Mr Banyenzaki insisted in his letter to KCCA that: “I have been granted with a certificate of approval of an EIA by NEMA, and I would henceforth desire to begin the redevelopment.”
KCCA deputy spokesperson Robert Kalumba said the project location has raised concerns from the community over noise pollution.
“An on-sight assessment indicates the lake is regaining its reclaimed zones with water marks indicating an extension of the lake. to its earlier positions,” Mr Kalumba said.
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) spokesperson, Naomi Karekaho, asserted that all the five wetland systems around Kampala that include: Kinawataka, Lubigi, Kyetinda, Nalukolongo and Kyambogo-Banda have all been encroached upon.
Last week, Cabinet issued a directive withdrawing all land titles issued on wetlands in Kampala.