Entebbe destroys illegal structures on lakefront

Friday November 22 2019

Crackdown. Enforcement team from Entebbe

Crackdown. Enforcement team from Entebbe Municipality demolish structures stretching up to the buffer zones on Nambi Road on Tuesday. PHOTO BY EVE MUGANGA 


Entebbe Municipal Council authorities have demolished illegal walls and structures that stretch through the buffer zones on the shores of Lake Victoria.
The operation conducted by the Municipality Law Enforcement officers on Tuesday pulled down perimeter walls and structures on Nambi Road in what the authorities claimed was a follow up on the warning letters and reminders to the respective property owners.
Mr Mike Mutebi, the Entebbe Division A chairperson, says the division has been receiving complaints from the community that they cannot access the buffer zones due to blockage by individual property owners.
“The developers and property owners are not supposed to construct any structure at 200 metres off the Lake buffer zones but this has always been ignored. All residents are entitled to free access to the buffer zone areas without any hindrance,” Mr Mutebi said on Wednesday.
The Entebbe deputy mayor, Mr Richard Ssekyondo, said the the council decided to prioritise the restoration of buffer zones during the 2019/2020 Financial Year budget.
“All those [developers] who raised perimeter walls or structures stretching out to the lake shores must demolish them. The operation began in Division A but soon it will spread to Division B. We shall not send further warning letters,” Mr Ssekyondo said.
He said there are guidelines that developers must follow while setting up hotels and beaches, however, many ignore them.
Mr John Wambuyi, one of the residents, said: “This is a very good initiative. Right from Kigungu, you cannot access any buffer zone. Let the operations go on because everyone is entitled to have free access to the lake.”
Mr Desire Njogo of Palm Beach said: “This is really unfair because they never gave us warning letters.”
The affected places include Palm Beach, Gorreti’s Pizzeria Restaurant and Saferon Beach.
Mr Tonny Achidria, the senior public relations officer at National Environment Management Authority, said environment management is now a decentralised function.
“Local authorities are empowered to handle all matters of the environment within their areas. If they followed standard legal procedures as stipulated in the law, then it is okay,” he said.