NEMA stops illegal activity at Mpala-Katabi on Nambigirwa wetland

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has stopped a private developer from encroaching on part of Nambigirwa wetland at Mpala Cell-Kitala Ward, Katabi Town, Wakiso District. The intervention follows public outcry from residents who had complained of noise and dust caused by trucks moving to and from the site.

Environment inspectors dispatched to the site on February 1, 2022, inspected the site and discovered that the developer had not undertaken Environment and Social Impact Assessment, contrary to provisions of the National Environment Act, No 5 2019.

The works have been stopped and arrests have been made of those found on site. Two excavators have been impounded and preliminary investigations indicate that the site belongs to a one Dr. Cedric, who decided to clear the swamp in order to protect his residence from snakes and other reptiles that had become a threat to his family and cattle. These, however, are not grounds for anyone to destroy a wetland as prescribed by the law. Investigations into the matter, including fully identifying the owner of the site, continue.

The Nambigiriwa wetland ecosystem is important for the health of Lake Victoria. Wetlands protect shores from wave action, reduce impacts of floods and improve water quality. They also provide a natural habitat for fish, plants and other forms of unique biodiversity.

On September 2, 2021 NEMA indefinitely suspended the receipt, issuance and consideration for all projects within wetlands. The suspension was undertaken to reduce pressure on wetlands and to enable Government build capacity to regulate developments in wetlands.

We thank the public for being vigilant and urge citizens to continue reporting environmental breaches within our communities. Together, we shall ensure sustainable socio-economic transformation of our nation.