Monday , April 24 2017
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NEMA should shut up

NEMA Boss Okurut
NEMA Boss Okurut

I find it absurd when the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) threatens to demolish all illegally constructed buildings found in Namanve Wetlands. Isn’t it too late to such an act? By the way, where was NEMA when the towns in Namanve wetlands were being established? What was it doing to allow people to build on that land? And how comes it is just figuring it now to conserve that wetland when already the land is degraded.

Is this the way such an agency should operate?

According to the National Environment Act (NEMA), Cap. 153, NEMA was given the mandate as the principal Agency in Uganda to be responsible for the management of the environment.

When we look at NEMA’s Vision statement, NEMA aims to become ‘an efficient Agency, with people in Uganda living in a clean, healthy, productive and sustainable Environment and its mission is ‘to promote and ensure sound environment management practices for sustainable development. Its development objective is ‘to create, establish and maintain an efficient mechanism for sustainable environmental and natural resources management at the national, district and community levels.

In other words, their principle role is to protect the environment. However, from what has been happening, it’s quite clear that NEMA forgot about its Vision, mission and objectives a long time ago. I don’t know if they had forsaken them but now it appears they have woken up to play the role of environment protector again.

Isn’t this what we call incompetence?

I like the idea of the government trying to conserve the environment and campaign against degradation but is this the way we should go about it; demolishing buildings without even compensation. I know I sound naïve when I complain about NEMA because everyone knows it’s the norm for government agencies to operate in such a manner but isn’t it about time we styled up.

What’s the use of letting the environment be destroyed and after its destruction, you try to save it. Does it make any sense?