Entebbe locals protest dumping soil in wetland

Residents attempt to block roads leading to Lutembe Bay wetland on Kampala-Entebbe highway. PHOTO BY MARTIN SSEBUYIRA

What you need to know:

Rosebud flower firm has been dumping soil in Lutembe wetland for the past two months, claiming Nema approved its activities.

Wakiso

Movement on the Entebbe-Kampala highway was yesterday paralysed when angry residents blocked the road leading to Rosebud flower firm in Kawuku. They blocked vehicles ferrying soil supposedly meant to be dumped at Lutembe Wetland bay for the expansion of the flower farm.

The residents led by Wakiso District chairperson Matia Lwanga Bwanika first blocked the road leading to Lutembe while threatening to burn vehicles ferrying murram soil, prompting police to deploy heavily.

“They will not accuse us for eating bribes from wetland degraders while we look on when they are pouring murrum into Lutembe wetland under unclear circumstances,” Mr Bwanika told the area police chief, Mr Edgar Nyambongo.
Rosebud flower managers have reportedly been dumping murrum at the site for the past two months.

Mr Nyabongo tried to convince Mr Bwanika to leave the crowd and stop the vehicles from ferrying murrum as they organise a meeting to have an agreed position.

Mr Bwanika with his personal assistant, Mr Ssenoga Mivule, then used boda bodas to move to his home in Namulanda but the meeting did not materialise. Mr Nyabongo said they got information that Mr Bwanika was inciting the public to burn vehicles and obstruct traffic on the Entebbe highway.

In an earlier interview, the Rosebud director, Mr Sudhir Ruparerila, said he obtained a certificate of approval from National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) agreeing to the expansion of the flower firm.

Dr Tom Okurut, the executive director of Nema, yesterday said Rosebud was permitted to carryout activities in the wetland since 2004 within a designated boundary in the wetland.

By press time, police were still guarding the vehicles transporting murrum while business was normalising. Two Rosebud Flower Firm managers were recently arrested in an operation by the wetland inspection division ministry.

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