The Minister of Water and Environment, Sam Cheptoris has tasked the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to double its environmental sensitization efforts and improve transparency in operations if sustainability is to be realized and biodiversity restored. This as Dr Akankwasa Barirega was officially assuming office as the new Executive Director at NEMA. Olivia Nakalembe has this story
Despite National Environment Management Authority’s efforts to conserve the environment, the authority has been faulted for inefficiencies in its methodology to curb and punish culprits.
It is against this background that the minister of Water and environment, Sam Cheptoris has tasked NEMA to clean up this mess from issuance of work permits to activities that affect wetlands. Cheptoris also called for transparency in the Authority’s undertakings.
“Wetland degradation in Kampala must be handled as quickly as possible so as we can send a message to the country and clean up your image”
The outgoing Executive Director of NEMA, Dr. Tom Okurut noted that the past ten years of his reign had witnessed a number of achievements including an improved environmental regulatory framework, Pushing for Cleaner production processes and Enhanced environmental awareness.
“We introduced what we call the compliance assistance strategy which realises that if we issued a license to a factory and after 6 months we go there and see that you have not performed, we close off your factory. from our measurements, we have achieved over 70 per cent of compliance most of which is voluntary
The incoming Executive Director of NEMA Akankwasa Barirega is cognizant of the Biodiversity, wetland and forest cover loss which are a result of irresponsible human activity but noted that all hope is not lost.
“The pandemic we are facing today is only a test of what is yet to come if we do not ease the pressure on our environment, We need to work together to diffuse the crisis in front of us, from climate change, biodiversity and wildlife habitat loss, land degradation, pollution and dangerous chemicals,” he said.
The country’s forest cover has been depleted to 8% from 24% in 1990 largely attributed to human encroachment for different activities.